Trusted Allies with New Benefits: Repositioning Existing Drugs

The classical assumption that one drug cures a single disease by binding to a single drug-target has been shown to be inaccurate. Recent studies estimate that each drug on average binds to at least six known and several unknown targets. Identifying the “off-targets” can help understand the side effects and toxicity of the drug. Moreover, off-targets for a given drug may inspire “drug repositioning”, where a drug already approved for one condition is redirected to treat another condition, thereby overcoming delays and costs associated with clinical trials and drug approval. In this talk, I will introduce our work along this direction. We have developed a structural alignment method that can precisely identify structural similarities between arbitrary types of interaction interfaces, such as the drug-target interaction. We have further developed a novel computational framework, iDTP that constructs the structural signatures of approved and experimental drugs, based on which we predict new targets for these drugs. Our method combines information from several sources including sequence independent structural alignment, sequence similarity, drug-target tissue expression data, and text mining. In a cross-validation study, we used iDTP to predict the known targets of 11 drugs, with 63% sensitivity and 81% specificity. We then predicted novel targets for these drugs—two that are of high pharmacological interest, the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and the oncogene B-cell lymphoma 2, were successfully validated through in vitro binding experiments.

Conference/Event Name
KAUST Research Conference on Computational and Experimental Interfaces of Big Data and Biotechnology

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