Background: Tufuling Qiwei Tangsan (TQTS) is a commonly used Mongolian medicine
preparation against psoriasis in China. However, its mechanism of action and molecular targets for the
treatment of psoriasis is still unclear. Network pharmacology can reveal the synergistic mechanism of
drugs at the molecular, target, and pathway levels and is suitable for the complex study of traditional
Chinese medicine formulations. However, it is rarely involved in the application of Mongolian medicine
with the same holistic concept of traditional Chinese medicine.
Methods: In this paper, the active compounds of TQTS were collected, and their targets were identified.
Psoriasis-related targets were obtained by analyzing the differential expressed genes between psoriasis
patients and healthy individuals. Then, the network concerning the interactions of potential targets of
TQTS with well-known psoriasis-related targets was built. The core targets were selected according to
topological parameters. And the enrichment analysis was carried out to explore the mechanism of action
of TQTS. Moreover, molecular docking was performed to study the interaction between the selected
ligands and receptors related to psoriasis.
Result and Conclusion: Eighty-five active compounds of TQTS were screened, with corresponding 270
targets, and 313 differentially expressed genes were identified. Additionally, enrichment analysis
showed that the targets of TQTS for treating psoriasis were mainly involved in multiple biological processes,
including apoptosis, growth factor response, etc., and related pathways including PI3K-Akt and
MAPK signaling pathway, and so on. Genes such as NFKB1, TP53, and MAPK1 are the key genes in
the gene pathway network of TQTS against psoriasis. The 4 main active components of TQTS have certain
binding activity with 13 potential targets, and the stability of their interaction with AKT1 is found
to be the most efficient, which indicates the potential mechanism of TQTS on psoriasis.