Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2010, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (01): 199-205.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB20091222

• BIOPHYSICAL CHEMISTRY • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Targets of Danshen’s Active Components for Activating Blood Circulation Activities

LIU Hai-Bo, XU Jun, PENG Yong, ZHOU Jia-Ju, XIAO Pei-Gen   

  1. Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100193, P. R. China; School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, P. R. China; Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China
  • Received:2009-08-05 Revised:2009-09-23 Published:2009-12-29
  • Contact: XU Jun, PENG Yong;


The active components in salvia miltiorrhiza bunge (danshen) include danshensu, labiatenic acid, and tanshinone, and they are known to be key compounds for danshen's blood-activating effect in traditional Chinese medicine. Studies show that these compounds have some common scaffolds. A systematic investigation was conducted to locate the targets of these active components among proteins with reported crystal structures. A structural informatics knowledgebase derived from protein structure and ligand-binding mode information was employed in this investigation. Furthermore, docking methods were used to rationally discover the relationship between the scaffold characteristics and the binding ability with the proteins. Results indicate that the active components comprehensively inhibit the metabolic network of adrenaline, which is a strong endogenetic cardiovascular activator. Consequently, adrenaline and its derivatives are accumulated and blood circulation is activated. We propose that key enzymes in the metabolic pathway of adrenaline including phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase, catechol O-methyltransferase, and monoamine oxidases are targets for the active components in danshen. This research aids in the understanding of the mechanismof danshen's activating blood action.

Key words: Drug target, Salvia miltiorrhiza bunge (Danshen), Danshensu, Traditional Chinese medicine, Activating blood


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