Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Multiscale Virtual Screening Optimization for Shotgun Drug Repurposing Using the CANDO Platform

Version 1 : Received: 16 April 2021 / Approved: 19 April 2021 / Online: 19 April 2021 (12:22:05 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Hudson, M.L.; Samudrala, R. Multiscale Virtual Screening Optimization for Shotgun Drug Repurposing Using the CANDO Platform. Molecules 2021, 26, 2581. Hudson, M.L.; Samudrala, R. Multiscale Virtual Screening Optimization for Shotgun Drug Repurposing Using the CANDO Platform. Molecules 2021, 26, 2581.


Drug repurposing, the practice of utilizing existing drugs for novel clinical indications, has tremendous potential for improving human health outcomes and increasing therapeutic development efficiency. The goal of multidisease multitarget drug repurposing, also known as shotgun drug repurposing, is to develop platforms that assess the therapeutic potential of each existing drug for every clinical indication. Our Computational Analysis of Novel Drug Opportunities (CANDO) platform for shotgun multitarget repurposing implements several pipelines via large scale modelling and simulation of interactions between comprehensive libraries of drugs/compounds and protein structures. In these pipelines, each drug is described by an interaction signature that is then compared to all other signatures that are then sorted and ranked based on similarity. Pipelines within the platform are benchmarked based on their ability to recover known drugs for all indications in our library, and predictions are generated based on the hypothesis that (novel) drugs with similar signatures may be repurposed for the same indication(s). The drug-protein interactions in the platform used to create the drug-proteome signatures may be determined by any screening or docking method but the primary approach used thus far has been an in house similarity docking protocol. In this study, we calculated drug-proteome interaction signatures using the publicly available molecular docking method Autodock Vina and created hybrid decision tree pipelines that combined our original bio- and cheminformatic approach with the goal of assessing and benchmarking their drug repurposing capabilities and performance. The hybrid decision tree pipeline outperformed the corresponding two docking-based pipelines it was synthesized from, yielding an average indication accuracy of 13.3% at the top10 cutoff (the most stringent), relative to 10.9% and 7.1% for its constituent pipelines, and a random control accuracy of 2.2%. We demonstrate that docking based virtual screening pipelines have unique performance characteristics and that the CANDO shotgun repurposing paradigm is not dependent on a specific docking method. Our results also provide further evidence that multiple CANDO pipelines can be synthesized to enhance drug repurposing predictive capability relative to their constituent pipelines. Overall, this study indicates that pipelines consisting of varied docking based signature generation methods can capture unique and useful signal for accurate comparison of drug-proteome interaction signatures, leading to improvements in the benchmarking and predictive performance of the CANDO shotgun drug repurposing platform.


drug repurposing; virtual screening; multiscale; multitargeting; polypharmacology; computational biology; drug repositioning; structural bioinformatics; molecular docking; proteomic signature


Medicine and Pharmacology, Immunology and Allergy

Comments (0)

We encourage comments and feedback from a broad range of readers. See criteria for comments and our Diversity statement.

Leave a public comment
Send a private comment to the author(s)
* All users must log in before leaving a comment
Views 0
Downloads 0
Comments 0
Metrics 0

Notify me about updates to this article or when a peer-reviewed version is published.
We use cookies on our website to ensure you get the best experience.
Read more about our cookies here.