A machine learning-driven study indicates emodin improves cardiac hypertrophy by modulation of mitochondrial SIRT3 signaling

Jian Gao, Kunlin Zhang, Yi Wang, Rui Guo, Hao Liu, Caixia Jia, Xiaoli Sun, Chaoyong Wu, Wei Wang, Jie Du, Jianxin Chen
Pharmacological Research2020
Cardiac hypertrophy (CH) is an enormous risk factor in the process of heart failure development, however, there is still lack of effective treatment for CH. Mitochondrial protection is an effective way against CH. Rheum palmatum L. (rhubarb) has been used to treat chronic heart diseases such as heart failure, especially to inhibit cardiac compensatory enlargement. The aim of this study was to explore the pharmacodynamic component of rhubarb and reveal its pharmacological effects and targets in the treatment of CH. Based on network pharmacology and machine learning approach, ingredients of rhubarb and targets for CH were extracted and surflex docking was conducted for obtaining the optimal ingredient-target combination(s) and emodin-SIRT3 was identified for further functional analysis. Transverse aortic constriction or isoproterenol induced CH mice and phenylephrine injured cardiomyocytes were used to verify the mitochondria protection effect and CH improvement of emodin in vivo and in vitro by modulation of mitochondrial SIRT3 signaling. The results showed that emodin could block agonist-induced and pressure overload-mediated CH. Emodin prevented mitochondrial dysfunction and its underlying mechanism was attributed to the activation of SIRT3, but the effect was not obvious with the presence of SIRT3 inhibitors (3-TYP)/SIRT3 siRNA. Furthermore, PGC-1ɑ was involved in the process of emodin regulating SIRT3 signaling pathway as an upstream target. Our findings clarified the main material basis and mechanism of rhubarb in the treatment of CH. Emodin, as the major ingredient of rhubarb, has therapeutic potential for CH through mitochondrial protection due to the modulation of SIRT3 signaling.

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