PMID: J Pharm Pharmacol. 2022 Apr 16. Epub 2022 Apr 16. PMID: 35429380 Abstract Title: Prediction of the potential mechanism of compound gingerol against liver cancer based on network pharmacology and experimental verification. Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To explore gingerol’s potential mechanism for treating liver cancer using network pharmacology and molecular docking technology and to conduct in-vitro experiments of human liver cancer cell HepG2 to verify important signalling pathways.METHODS: We obtained potential targets of gingerol derivatives (6 -gingerol, 8-gingerol and 10-gingerol) from PubChem and SwissTargetPrediction websites and collected related targets for liver cancer with the help of GeneCards. We performed Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis on key targets using the DAVID data platform and combined with Cytoscape 3.7.1 software to construct a component-target-signal pathway interaction map to study its mechanism of action. Subsequently, the components and key proteins were molecularly docked through Autodock Vina software. Finally, the important signal pathways were verified by HepG2 cell in-vitro experiments.KEY FINDINGS: A total of 318 drug targets were screened for gingerol derivatives, and 2509 gene targets related to liver cancer were collected. The Venn diagram showed that there were 104 intersection targets between gingerol derivatives and liver cancer. Module analysis results show that these intersection targets can be divided into 5 modules and 49 nodes. Bioinformatics analysis found that GO obtained 20 important functional items including cancer cell proliferation, protein kinase activity, phosphotransferase activity and kinase activity; KEGG enrichment analysis yielded a total of 20 key signal pathways including the PI3K-Akt signalling pathway. The results of molecular docking show that the binding energy of gingerol derivatives has good binding activity with PI3K and Akt. In-vitro experimental results show that gingerol derivatives and compound gingerol (compound gingerol is composed of 6-gingerol, 8-gingerol and 10-gingerol in a ratio of 7: 1.5: 1.5) can produce HepG2 cell proliferation inhibition, and each administration group can significantly increase the apoptosis rate of HepG2 cells and the fluorescence intensity of the nucleus and block the cell cycle in the S phase; the results of Western Blot and real-time quantitative PCR show that gingerol derivatives and compound gingerol can down-regulate the expression of Akt and p-Akt and up-regulate the expression of Bax / Bcl-2. And the effect of compound gingerol is more obvious than that of gingerol derivatives.CONCLUSIONS: The results of network pharmacology and experimental validation suggest that gingerol derivatives and compound gingerol can act against liver cancer by acting on the PI3K-Akt signalling pathway.