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Original Research

Open Access

The use of network pharmacology to investigate the mechanism of action of Scutellaria barbata in the treatment of prostate cancer

  • Wenhui Zhu1,†
  • Lili Mao2,†
  • Ruijie Yang2,†
  • Shijun Tong1
  • Jing Zhai1
  • Guanxiong Ding1,*,

1Department of Urology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, 200040 Shanghai, China

2Department of Nursing, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, 200040 Shanghai, China

DOI: 10.22514/jomh.2024.065 Vol.20,Issue 5,May 2024 pp.12-20

Submitted: 21 July 2023 Accepted: 26 September 2023

Published: 30 May 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Guanxiong Ding E-mail:

† These authors contributed equally.


We aimed to identify the mechanism of action of the Scutellaria barbata in the treatment of prostate cancer. First, the main active components of Scutellaria barbata for the treatment of prostate cancer were predicted by network pharmacology. Disease-related targets were then retrieved from the Traditional Chinese Medicine Systems Pharmacology Database and Analysis Platform (TCMSP); GeneCards: The Human Gene Database; and the Online Catalog of Human Genes and Genetic Disorders (OMIM). Then, we identified intersecting genes between the components and targets. Cytoscape software was then used to construct a “Drug-Ingredient-Disease-Target” network. We also used the STRING platform to perform protein interaction analysis. R software was used to perform Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis. Our analysis identified 212 potential targets for Scutellaria barbata in the treatment of prostate cancer; these were closely related to a number of specific pathways, including prostate cancer, the advanced glycation end products and their receptors (AGE-RAGE) signaling pathway in diabetic complications, lipids and atherosclerosis, hepatitis B, fluid shear stress and atherosclerosis, chemical carcinogenesis, receptor activation, Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus infection, and human cytomegalovirus infection. Furthermore, the treatment of prostate cancer with Scutellaria barbata may act via a range of biological processes, including responses to xenobiotic stimuli, lipopolysaccharides and metal ions. Several molecular functions may be involved, including DNA-binding transcription factor binding, RNA polymerase II-specific DNA-binding transcription factor binding, and nuclear receptor activity. Our research demonstrates the multi-component, multi-target, multi-pathway, and synergistic characteristics of Scutellaria barbata for the treatment of prostate cancer, and provides theoretical guidelines for further elucidating its mechanism of action.


Prostate carcinomatosis; Scutellaria barbata; Network pharmacology; Antitumor

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Wenhui Zhu,Lili Mao,Ruijie Yang,Shijun Tong,Jing Zhai,Guanxiong Ding. The use of network pharmacology to investigate the mechanism of action of Scutellaria barbata in the treatment of prostate cancer. Journal of Men's Health. 2024. 20(5);12-20.


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