Network pharmacology combined with molecular docking and in vitro verification reveals the therapeutic potential of Delphinium roylei munz constituents on breast carcinoma
Delphinium roylei Munz is an indigenous medicinal plant to India where its activity against cancer has not been previously investigated, and its specific interactions of bioactive compounds with vulnerable breast cancer drug targets remain largely unknown. Therefore, in the current study, we aimed to evaluate the anti-breast cancer activity of different extracts of D. roylei against breast cancer and deciphering the molecular mechanism by Network Pharmacology combined with Molecular Docking and in vitro verification. The experimental plant was extracted with various organic solvents according to their polarity index. Phytocompounds were identified by High resolution-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HR-LC/MS) technique, and SwissADME programme evaluated their physicochemical properties. Next, target(s) associated with the obtained bioactives or breast cancer-related targets were retrieved by public databases, and the Venn diagram selected the overlapping targets. The networks between overlapping targets and bioactive were visualized, constructed, and analyzed by STRING programme and Cytoscape software. Finally, we implemented a molecular docking test (MDT) using AutoDock Vina to explore key target(s) and compound(s). HR-LC/MS detected hundreds of phytocompounds, and few were accepted by Lipinski’s rules after virtual screening and therefore classified as drug-like compounds (DLCs). A total of 464 potential target genes were attained for the nine quantitative phytocompounds and using Gene Cards, OMIM and DisGeNET platforms, 12063 disease targets linked to breast cancer were retrieved. With Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment, a total of 20 signalling pathways were manifested, and a hub signalling pathway (PI3K-Akt signalling pathway), a key target (Akt1), and a key compound (8-Hydroxycoumarin) were selected among the 20 signalling pathways via molecular docking studies. The molecular docking investigation revealed that among the nine phytoconstituents, 8-hydroxycoumarin showed the best binding energy (−9.2 kcal/mol) with the Akt1 breast cancer target. 8-hydroxycoumarin followed all the ADME property prediction using SwissADME, and 100 nanoseconds (ns) MD simulations of 8-hydroxycoumarin complexes with Akt1 were found to be stable. Furthermore, D. roylei extracts also showed significant antioxidant and anticancer activity through in vitro studies. Our findings indicated for the first time that D. roylei extracts could be used in the treatment of BC.
Graphical Abstract The graphical abstract illustrates a multidisciplinary approach to uncover the therapeutic promise of Delphinium roylei Munz, a medicinal plant, against breast carcinoma.