Scientific reports 2016 Nov 116() 36767 doi 10.1038/srep36767
Though many studies have been performed to elucidate molecular mechanism of traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) by identifying protein-compound interactions, no systematic analysis at herb level was reported. TCMs are prescribed by herbs and all compounds from a certain herb should be considered as a whole, thus studies at herb level may provide comprehensive understanding of TCMs. Here, we proposed a computational strategy to study molecular mechanism of TCM at herb level and used it to analyze a TCM anti-HIV formula. Herb-target network analysis was carried out between 17 HIV-related proteins and SH formula as well as three control groups based on systematic docking. Inhibitory herbs were identified and active compounds enrichment was found to contribute to the therapeutic effectiveness of herbs. Our study demonstrates that computational analysis of TCMs at herb level can catch the rationale of TCM formulation and serve as guidance for novel TCM formula design.