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An Integrated Strategy Designed To Explore the Common and Diverging Mechanisms of Potential Drugs against the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Based on Network Pharmacology and In Silico Molecular Docking Technology

Author(s): Q. Zhao, G. H. Li, B. Zheng, P. Feng, P. Wang and X. Li*
Department of Pharmacy, Tongde Hospital of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310012, 1Zhejiang Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310007, 2School of Basic Medical Sciences and Forensic Medicine, Hangzhou Medical College, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310053, China

Correspondence Address:
X. Li, School of Basic Medical Sciences and Forensic Medicine, Hangzhou Medical College, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310053, China, E-mail:

Drug repositioning may be a promising way to find potential therapies against coronavirus disease 2019. Although chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine showed controversial results against the coronavirus disease 2019 disease, the potential common and diverging mechanisms of action are not reported and need to be dissected for better understanding them. An integrated strategy was proposed to systematically decipher the common and diverging aspects of mechanism of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine against coronavirus disease 2019-disease network based on network pharmacology and in silico molecular docking. Potential targets of the two drugs and coronavirus disease 2019 related genes were collected from online public databases. Target function enrichment analysis, tissue enrichment maps and molecular docking analysis were carried out to facilitate the systematic understanding of common and diverging mechanisms of the two drugs. Our results showed that 51 chloroquine targets and 47 hydroxychloroquine targets were associated with coronavirus disease 2019. The core targets include tumor necrosis factor, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, lymphocyte-specific protein-tyrosine kinase, beta-2 microglobulin, nuclear receptor coactivator 1, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and glutathione disulfide reductase. Both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine had good binding affinity towards tumor necrosis factor (affinity=-8.6 and -8.4 kcal/mol, respectively) and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (-7.5 and -7.5 kcal/mol). Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine both had good affinity with angiotensinconverting enzyme 2, 3-chymotrypsin-like protease and transmembrane serine protease 2. However, hydroxychloroquine manifested better binding affinity with the three proteins comparing with that of chloroquine. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine could have potential to inhibit over-activated immunity and inflammation. The potential tissue-specific regulation of the two drugs against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection may related with the lung, liver, brain, placenta, kidney, blood, eye, et al. In conclusion, our data systematically demonstrated chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine may have potential regulatory effects on coronavirus disease 2019 disease network, which may affect multiple organs, protein targets and pathways. Routine measurements of the chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine blood concentrations and tailored therapy regimen may be essential. But, further rigorous and high quality randomized controlled clinical trials are warranted to validate the antiviral effects of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Our proposed strategy could facilitate the drug repurposing efforts for coronavirus disease 2019 treatment.

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Citations : 66710

Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences received 66710 citations as per google scholar report