Integration of in silico and in vitro approach to reveal the anticancer efficacy of Virgin Coconut Oil
Background: Virgin coconut oil (VCO) has antioxidant properties and is being increasingly used as nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals. It also has a long history of ethnopharmacological use. Anticancer effect of VCO has been reported in several articles. The main bottleneck of exploring the anticancer efficacy of VCO is the difficulty in identification and validation of target proteins and their regulated pathways.
Aim: The work plan was in-silico analysis using Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD) and STRING. CTD curated and integrated data for more than 5700 gene-disease and 2000 chemical-disease relationship. Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) from VCO like Lauric acid, Caprylic Acid, Capric Acid, and Myristic acid can target almost 17 cancer-associated proteins.
Method: Using in silico and in vitro approach, an attempt was made to identify the target proteins and their pathways regulated by VCO.
Result: We analyze curated and inferred VCO-gene expression data and illustrate the impact of VCO exposure on cancer-related gene network and molecular function. In enriched pathway analysis, it has been evident that all of them are the part of different cancer-associated pathways (Neoplasms, Digestive System Neoplasms, Urogenital Neoplasms, Liver Neoplasms). This response may mimic the biological response to VCO. In silico result was tested by in vitro study and VCO kill the Human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines (hepG2).
Conclusion: Based on the findings of this study and several published studies it is proposed that a VCO may have immense potential as a botanical product against cancer.
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