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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2018, Article ID 6517034, 12 pages
Research Article

A Network Pharmacology Approach to Uncover the Multiple Mechanisms of Hedyotis diffusa Willd. on Colorectal Cancer

Department of Clinical Chinese Pharmacy, School of Chinese Materia Medica, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100102, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jiarui Wu; moc.361@ymagoxe

Received 16 September 2017; Accepted 25 December 2017; Published 12 February 2018

Academic Editor: Jae Youl Cho

Copyright © 2018 Xinkui Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. As one of the most frequently diagnosed cancer diseases globally, colorectal cancer (CRC) remains an important cause of cancer-related death. Although the traditional Chinese herb Hedyotis diffusa Willd. (HDW) has been proven to be effective for treating CRC in clinical practice, its definite mechanisms have not been completely deciphered. Objective. The aim of our research is to systematically explore the multiple mechanisms of HDW on CRC. Methods. This study adopted the network pharmacology approach, which was mainly composed of active component gathering, target prediction, CRC gene collection, network analysis, and gene enrichment analysis. Results. The network analysis showed that 10 targets might be the therapeutic targets of HDW on CRC, namely, HRAS, PIK3CA, KRAS, TP53, APC, BRAF, GSK3B, CDK2, AKT1, and RAF1. The gene enrichment analysis implied that HDW probably benefits patients with CRC by modulating pathways related to cancers, infectious diseases, endocrine system, immune system, nervous system, signal transduction, cellular community, and cell motility. Conclusions. This study partially verified and predicted the pharmacological and molecular mechanism of HDW against CRC from a holistic perspective, which will also lay a foundation for the further experimental research and clinical rational application of HDW.