Integrative pharmacological mechanism of vitamin C combined with glycyrrhizic acid against COVID-19: findings of bioinformatics analyses.
Brief Bioinform. 2020 Jul 14. Epub 2020 Jul 14. PMID: 32662814
OBJECTIVE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a fatal and fast-spreading viral infection. To date, the number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has crossed over six million with over three hundred and seventy thousand deaths (according to the data from World Health Organization; updated on 2 June 2020). Although COVID-19 can be rapidly diagnosed, efficient clinical treatment of COVID-19 remains unavailable, resulting in high fatality. Some clinical trials have identified vitamin C (VC) as a potent compound pneumonia management. In addition, glycyrrhizic acid (GA) is clinically as an anti-inflammatory medicine against pneumonia-induced inflammatory stress. We hypothesized that the combination of VC and GA is a potential option for treating COVID-19.
METHODS: The aim of this study was to determine pharmacological targets and molecular mechanisms of VC + GA treatment for COVID-19, using bioinformational network pharmacology.
RESULTS: We uncovered optimal targets, biological processes and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways of VC + GA against COVID-19. Our findings suggested that combinatorial VC and GA treatment for COVID-19 was associated with elevation of immunity and suppression of inflammatory stress, including activation of the T cell receptor signaling pathway, regulation of Fc gamma R-mediated phagocytosis, ErbBsignaling pathway and vascular endothelial growth factor signaling pathway. We also identified 17 core targets of VC + GA, which suggest as antimicrobial function.
CONCLUSIONS: For the first time, our study uncovered the pharmacological mechanism underlying combined VC and GA treatment for COVID-19. These results should benefit efforts to address the most pressing problem currently facing the world.