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Journal of Integrative Medicine


Ziyin Huatan Recipe, a Chinese herbal compound, inhibits migration and invasion of gastric cancer by upregulating RUNX3 expression

Shang-jin Songa,b, Xuan Liua, Qing Jic, Da-zhi Suna, Li-juan Xiua, Jing-yu Xua,Xiao-qiang Yuea   

  1. a. Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changzheng Hospital, Naval Medical University, Shanghai, 200003, China

    b. Strategic Support Force Xingcheng Special Duty Sanatorium, Xingcheng, 125100, Liaoning Province, China

    c. Cancer Institute, Shuguang Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, 201203, China

  • Contact: Xiao-qiang Yue, PhD; E-mail:


Ziyin Huatan recipe (ZYHT), a traditional Chinese medicine comprised of Lilii Bulbus, Pinelliae Rhizoma, and Hedyotis Diffusa, has shown promise in treating gastric cancer (GC) in the clinic. However, its potential mechanism in treating GC has not yet been clearly addressed. This study aimed to predict targets and molecular mechanisms of ZYHT by network pharmacology analysis and to explore the role of ZYHT in GC both in vitro and in vivo.


Targets and molecular mechanisms of ZYHT were predicted via network pharmacology analysis. The effects of ZYHT on the expression of metastasis-associated targets were further validated by western blot and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. To explore the specific molecular mechanisms of ZYHT on migration and invasion, the runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) gene was knocked out by clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/Cas9, and lentiviral vectors were transfected into SGC-7901 cells. Then lung metastasis model of gastric cancer in nude mice was established to explore the anti-metastasis effect of ZYHT. Western blot and immunohistochemistry were used to explore the impact of ZYHT on the expression of metastasis-related proteins with or without RUNX3 gene.


The network pharmacology analysis showed that ZYHT might inhibit focal adhesion, and migration, invasion and metastasis of GC. ZYHT inhibited the proliferation, migration and invasion of GC cells in vitro via regulating the expression of metastasis-associated targets. Knocking out RUNX3 almost completely reversed the cell phenotypes (migration and invasion) and protein expression levels elicited by ZYHT. In vivo studies showed that ZYHT inhibited the metastasis of GC cells to the lung and prolonged the survival time of nude mice. Knocking out RUNX3 partly reversed the metastasis of GC cells to the lung and the protein expression levels elicited by ZYHT.


ZYHT can e?ectively inhibit the invasion and migration of GC in vitro and in vivo, and its molecular mechanism may relate to the upregulation of RUNX3 expression.

Key words: Ziyin Huatan Recipe, Gastric cancer, Traditional Chinese medicine, Metastasis, runt-related transcription factor 3

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