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The structure-activity relationship between traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) compounds and antibacterial activity was studied by chemoinformatics approach. Cytoscape and its plug-in ChemViz were applied to compute the 2D chemical structure similarity and topological parameter TPSA (topological molecular polar surface area), which measures cell permeability of chemicals, between TCM compounds and clinical antibacterials. The overall degree of structure similarity was then calculated and represented by E-value for the eight categories of TCM compounds and the known antibacterials. Our results indicated that flavonoids showed good structural similarity with antibacterials and appropriate cell permeability, compared with those of the TCM compounds of the other categories. As flavonoids were featured by good drug safety, it suggested that they can be regarded as the preferred lead compounds skeleton structure source for further antibacterials synthesis. The application of chemoinformatics helps explore the structure-activity relationship between TCM compounds and the antibacterial activity and search for suitable antibacterial lead compounds skeleton structure source.


Kun Zhang, Yan Li, Zhuo-Ran Zhang, Wen-Hui Guan, Yan-Chun Pu. Chemoinformatics study on antibacterial activity of traditional Chinese medicine compounds]. Zhongguo Zhong yao za zhi = Zhongguo zhongyao zazhi = China journal of Chinese materia medica. 2013 Mar;38(5):777-80

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PMID: 23724694

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