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PLoS One. 2013 Aug 15;8(8):e71403. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071403. eCollection 2013.

Metabolomics and proteomics annotate therapeutic properties of geniposide: targeting and regulating multiple perturbed pathways.

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National TCM Key Lab of Serum Pharmacochemistry, Key Lab of Chinmedomics and Key Pharmacometabolomics Platform of Chinese Medicines, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin, China.


Geniposide is an important constituent of Gardenia jasminoides Ellis, a famous Chinese medicinal plant, and has displayed bright prospects in prevention and therapy of hepatic injury (HI). Unfortunately, the working mechanisms of this compound are difficult to determine and thus remain unknown. To determine the mechanisms that underlie this compound, we conducted a systematic analysis of the therapeutic effects of geniposide using biochemistry, metabolomics and proteomics. Geniposide significantly intensified the therapeutic efficacy as indicated by our modern biochemical analysis. Metabolomics results indicate 9 ions in the positive mode as differentiating metabolites which were associated with perturbations in primary bile acid biosynthesis, butanoate metabolism, citrate cycle (TCA cycle), alanine, aspartate and glutamate metabolism. Of note, geniposide has potential pharmacological effect through regulating multiple perturbed pathways to normal state. In an attempt to address the benefits of geniposide based on the proteomics approaches, the protein-interacting networks were constructed to aid identifying the drug targets of geniposide. Six identified differential proteins appear to be involved in antioxidation and signal transduction, energy production, immunity, metabolism, chaperoning. These proteins were closely related in the protein-protein interaction network and the modulation of multiple vital physiological pathways. These data will help to understand the molecular therapeutic mechanisms of geniposide on hepatic damage rats. We also conclude that metabolomics and proteomics are powerful and versatile tools for both biomarker discovery and exploring the complex relationships between biological pathways and drug response, highlighting insights into drug discovery.

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