REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0380.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: sex differences; drug repurposing; sex-bias; sex-aware; review; therapeutics; pharmaceuticals; computational drug repurposing
Online: 8 March 2022 (10:34:42 CET)
Sex differences are essential factors in disease etiology and manifestation in many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegeneration (1). The biological influence of sex differences (including genomic, epigenetic, hormonal, immunological, and metabolic differences between males and females) and the lack of biomedical studies considering sex differences in their study design has led to several policies. For example, the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) sex as a biological variable (SABV) and Sex and Gender Equity in Research (SAGER)) policies to motivate researchers to consider sex differences (2). However, drug repurposing, a promising alternative to traditional drug discovery by identifying novel uses for FDA-approved drugs, lacks sex-aware methods that can improve the identification of drugs that have sex-specific responses (1,3–5). Sex-aware drug repurposing methods either select drug candidates that are more efficacious in one sex or deprioritize drug candidates based on if they are predicted to cause a sex-bias adverse event (SBAE), unintended therapeutic effects that are more likely to occur in one sex. Computational drug repurposing methods are encouraging approaches to develop for sex-aware drug repurposing because they can prioritize sex-specific drug candidates or SBAEs at lower cost and time than traditional drug discovery. Sex-aware methods currently exist for clinical, genomic, and transcriptomic information (3,6,7). They have not expanded to other data types, such as DNA variation, which has been beneficial in other drug repurposing methods that do not consider sex (8). Additionally, some sex-aware methods suffer from poorer performance because a disproportionate number of male and female samples are available to train computational methods (3). However, there is development potential for several different categories (i.e., data mining, ligand binding predictions, molecular associations, and networks). Low-dimensional representations of molecular association and network approaches are also especially promising candidates for future sex-aware drug repurposing methodologies because they reduce the multiple hypothesis testing burden and capture sex-specific variation better than the other methods (9,10). Here we review how sex influences drug response, the current state of drug repurposing including with respect to sex-bias drug response, and how model organism study design choices influence drug repurposing validation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0379.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Montelukast; Leukotrienes; Adverse drug reactions; Repurposing
Online: 26 July 2022 (03:27:37 CEST)
Increasing environmental distress is associated with a growing asthma incidence and, with no treatments available, montelukast (MTK) – an antagonist of the cysteinyl leukotrienes receptor 1 – is widely used in the management of symptoms among adults and children. Recently, new molecular targets have been identified and MTK has been proposed for repurposing in other therapeutic applications, with several ongoing clinical trials. The proposed applications include neuroinflammation control, which could be explored in some neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases (AD and PD). However, this drug has been associated with an increasing number of reported neuropsychiatric adverse drug reactions. Besides, and despite being on the market since 1998, MTK metabolism is still poorly understood and the mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric ADRs remain unknown. We review the role of MTK as modulator of leukotriene pathways and systematize the knowledge about MTK metabolism. Known toxic effects of MTK are discussed, and repurposing applications are presented comprehensively, with a focus on AD and PD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0212.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: drug repurposing; cystic fibrosis; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; biofilm
Online: 22 April 2022 (10:55:32 CEST)
Drug repurposing is an attractive strategy for developing new antibacterial molecules. Herein, we evaluated the in vitro antibacterial, antibiofilm, and antivirulence activities of eight FDA-approved “non-antibiotic” drugs, comparatively to tobramycin, against selected Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains from cystic fibrosis patients. MIC and MBC values were measured by broth microdilution methods. Time-kill kinetics was studied by the macro dilution method, and synergy studies were performed by checkerboard microdilution assay. The activity against preformed biofilm was measured by crystal violet and viable cell count assays. The effects on gene expression were studied by real-time quantitative PCR, while the cytotoxic potential was evaluated against IB3-1 bronchial CF cells. Ciclopirox, 5-fluorouracil, and actinomycin D showed the best activity against P. aeruginosa planktonic cells and, therefore, underwent further evaluation. Time-kill assays indicated actinomycin D and ciclopirox, contrarily to 5-fluorouracil and tobramycin, have the potential for bacterial eradication, although with strain-dependent efficacy. Ciclopirox was the most effective against the viability of the preformed biofilm. A similar activity was observed for other drugs, although they stimulate EPS production. Ribavirin showed a specific antibiofilm effect, not dependent on bacterial killing. Exposure to drugs and tobramycin generally caused hyperexpression of the virulence traits tested, except for actinomycin D, which downregulated the expression of alkaline protease and alginate polymerization. Ciclopirox and actinomycin D revealed high cytotoxic potential. Ciclopirox and ribavirin might provide chemical scaffolds for anti-P. aeruginosa drugs. Further studies are warranted to decrease ciclopirox cytotoxicity and evaluate the in vivo protective effects.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0596.v1
Online: 23 December 2020 (15:58:38 CET)
We report the treatment of a 21-year-old female Covid-19 patient by a novel combination of minocycline and a guanosine-restricted diet. Minocycline is an antibiotic with well documented broad spectrum anti-viral effects, including evidence of activity against SARS-CoV-2. Deprivation of guanosine has been documented as an effective anti-viral modality in vitro and in animal models, and specific in vitro activity against CoV-SARS-2 has been reported. The patient's symptoms resolved rapidly.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0288.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; Therapeutics; Drug Repurposing; 3D Tissue Models
Online: 20 September 2022 (03:24:22 CEST)
The repurposing of licenced drugs for use against COVID-19 is one of the most rapid ways to develop new and alternative therapeutic options to manage the ongoing pandemic. Given the approximately 8,000 licenced compounds available from Compounds Australia that can be screened, this paper demonstrates the utility of commercially-available ex vivo/3D airway and alveolar tissue models. These models are a closer representation of in vivo studies compared to in vitro models, but retain the benefits of rapid in vitro screening for drug efficacy. We demonstrate that several existing drugs appear to show anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity against both Delta and Omicron Variants of Concern in the airway model. In particular, fluvoxamine, as well as aprepitant, everolimus, and sirolimus have virus reduction efficacy comparable to the current standard of care (remdesivir, molnupiravir, nirmatrelvir). Whilst these results are encouraging, further testing and efficacy studies are required before clinical use can be considered.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0679.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Sildenafil; phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors; drug repurposing; cancer; chemoadjuvant
Online: 26 April 2021 (15:02:08 CEST)
Enhanced permeation retention (EPR) was a significant milestone discovery by Maeda et al. paving the road for the emerging nanomedicine as a powerful tool in the fight against cancer. Sildenafil is a potent inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE-5) used for treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) through the relaxation of smooth muscles and the modulation of vascular endothelial permeability. Overexpression of PDE-5 was reported in lung, colon, metastatic breast cancers and bladder squamous carcinoma. Accordingly, there has been a growing interest in using sildenafil as monotherapy or chemoadjuvant in EPR augmentation and management of different types of cancer. Sildenafil had been reported to increase the sensitivity of tumor cells of different origins to the cytotoxic effect of chemotherapeutic agents with augmented apoptosis mediated through inducing the expression of Bad and Bax proapoptotic proteins. It was also reported that the use of sildenafil prior to the administration of Doxorubicin (DOX) increased its EPR-related concentration in breast cancer tissues by 2 folds. Further, a substantial reason of anticancer chemotherapeutic failure is due to multidrug resistance (MDR), exacerbated by the overexpression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters such as ABCB1 and ABCCs. Sildenafil has demonstrated inhibitory effects on the efflux activity of ABCC4, ABCC5, ABCB1, and ABCG2, ultimately reversing MDR caused by these transporters. In this review, we critically examine the overall potential of sildenafil in enhancing EPR-based anticancer drug delivery pointing up the outcome of the most important related preclinical and clinical studies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0395.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: coronavirus disease 2019; chloroquine; drug repurposing; HIV; Africa
Online: 22 April 2020 (08:33:34 CEST)
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, has been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a pandemic. Unfortunately, finding a vaccine or developing drugs from the scratch is a time-consuming luxury given the widespread and high fatality rates of the virus. In the short term, repurposing of drugs already in use seem to be the most rational step to quickly and effectively curb the virus. Several antiviral agents had been proposed as possible remedies, but the 4-aminoquinolines, Chloroquine (CHQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCHQ) appear to be generating more interest. They are generic, cheaply available and have proven efficacy against malaria parasites in Africa. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), on the other hand, targets the immune system thereby reducing the patient’s ability to fight infections. Sadly, 68% of the global HIV burden occur in Africa. It is therefore anticipated that incidence of severe forms of COVID-19 could occur in Africa because of associated endemic conditions that compromise the immune system. With CHQ and HCHQ being considered for clinical use against COVID-19, there is a need to highlight their potential merits and confounding variables in the subgroup of patients with or without HIV.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0345.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: COVID-19; lysosomotropic agents; endosome; antiviral; drug repurposing
Online: 24 March 2020 (06:26:54 CET)
While the COVID-19 pandemic advances, the scientific community struggles in the search for treatments. Several improvements have been made, including the discovery of clinical efficacy of chloroquine (CQ) in COVID-19 patients, but the effective treatment protocols are still missing. In order to find novel treatment options many scientists utilize the in silico approach to identify compounds that could interfere with the key molecules involved in entrance, replication, or dissemination of the SARS-CoV-2. However, most of the identified molecules are currently not available as pharmacological agents, and assessing their safety and efficacy could take many months. Here, we took a different approach based on the proposed pharmacodynamic model of CQ in COVID-19. The main mechanism of action responsible for the favourable outcome of COVID-19 patients treated with CQ seems to be related to pH modulation-mediated effect on the endolysosomal trafficking, a characteristic of chemical compounds often called lysosomotropic agents because of the physico-chemical properties that enable them to passively diffuse through the endosomal membrane and undergo protonation-based trapping in the lumen of the acidic vesicles. In this review, we discuss lysosomotropic and lysosome targeting drugs that are already in clinical use and are characterized by good safety profiles, low cost, and wide availability. We emphasize that some of these drugs, in particular azithromycin and other macrolide antibiotics, indomethacin and some other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, proton pump inhibitors, and fluoxetine could provide additional therapeutic benefits in addition to the potential antiviral effect that still has to be confirmed by well-controlled clinical trials. As some of these drugs, mostly antibiotics, were already empirically used in the treatment of COVID-19, we encourage our colleagues all over the world to publish patient data so potential efficacy of these agents can be evaluated in the clinical context and rapidly implemented in the therapeutic protocols if the beneficial effect on clinical outcome is observed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0286.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-2019; SARS-CoV-2; repurposing; network bioinformatics
Online: 18 March 2020 (08:50:10 CET)
The COVID-2019 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (aka 2019-nCoV) has raised significant health concerns in China and worldwide. While novel drug discovery and vaccine studies are long, repurposing old drugs against the COVID-2019 epidemic can help identify treatments, with known preclinical, pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and toxicity profiles, which can rapidly enter Phase 3 or 4 or can be used directly in clinical settings. In this study, we presented a novel network based drug repurposing platform to identify potential drugs for the treatment of COVID-2019. We first analysed the genome sequence of SARS-CoV-2 and identified SARS as the closest disease, based on genome similarity between both causal viruses, followed by MERS and other human coronavirus diseases. Using our AutoSeed pipeline (text mining and database searches), we obtained 34 COVID-2019-related genes. Taking those genes as seeds, we automatically built a molecular network for which our module detection and drug prioritization algorithms identified 24 disease-related human pathways, five modules and finally suggested 78 drugs to repurpose. Following manual filtering based on clinical knowledge, we re-prioritized 30 potential repurposable drugs against COVID-2019 (including pseudoephedrine, andrographolide, chloroquine, abacavir, and thalidomide) . We hope that this data can provide critical insights into SARS-CoV-2 biology and help design rapid clinical trials of treatments against COVID-2019.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0342.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Anti-MDR strategies; anti-persistent treatments; drug repurposing
Online: 25 December 2019 (09:33:57 CET)
Antibiotic failure is one of the most worrying health problems worldwide. Nowadays we are facing an international crisis where several issues are involved: new antibiotics are not being discovered any longer, resistance mechanisms become spread in nearly every clinical isolate of bacteria and the appearance of recurrent infections caused by persistent bacteria complicates the overcoming of infections. In this context, it has been explored new anti-infectious strategies against MDR and persistent bacteria as well as the rescue of FDA-approved compounds (drug repurposing). Among the highlighted new anti-infectious strategies we find anti-microbial peptides, anti-virulence compounds, phage therapy and new molecules. On the other hand, as drugs of repurposing that have been described, we have anti-inflammatory compounds, anti-psychotics, anti-helmintic drugs, anti-cancerous and statins.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0770.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: BRF2; cancer; molecular dynamics simulation; drug repurposing; drug discovery
Online: 16 July 2021 (11:40:34 CEST)
Overexpression of BRF2, a selective subunit of RNA polymerase III, has been shown to be crucial in the development of several types of cancers, including breast cancer and lung squamous cell carcinoma . Predominately, BRF2 acts as a central redox-sensing transcription factor (TF) and is involved in rescuing oxidative stress (OS) -induced apoptosis. Here, we showed a novel link between BRF2 and DNA damage response. Due to the lack of BRF2 specific inhibitors, through virtual and molecular dynamics screening, we identified potential drug candidates that interfere with BRF2-TATA-binding Protein (TBP)-DNA complex interactions based on binding energy, intermolecular, and torsional energy parameters. We experimentally tested Bexarotene as a potential BRF2 inhibitor. We found that Bexarotene (Bex) treatment resulted in a dramatic decline in oxidative stress (Tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ))-induced levels of BRF2 and consequently, lead to a decrease in cellular proliferation of cancer cells which may in part be due to drug pretreatment induced reduction of ROS generated by the oxidizing agent. Our data thus, provide the first experimental evidence that BRF2 is a novel player in DNA damage response pathway and Bexarotene can be used as a potential inhibitor to treat cancers with the specific elevation of oxidative stress.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0281.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: covid-19; drug repurposing; topological data analysis; persistent homology
Online: 11 December 2020 (12:57:28 CET)
Since its emergence in March 2020, the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic has produced more than 65 million cases and one point five million deaths worldwide. Despite the enormous efforts carried out by the scientific community, no effective treatments have been developed to date. We created a novel computational pipeline aimed to speed up the process of repurposable candidate drug identification. Compared with current drug repurposing methodologies, our strategy is centered on filtering the best candidate among all selected targets focused on the introduction of a mathematical formalism motivated by recent advances in the fields of algebraic topology and topological data analysis (TDA). This formalism allows us to compare three-dimensional protein structures. Its use in conjunction with two in silico validation strategies (molecular docking and transcriptomic analyses) allowed us to identify a set of potential drug repurposing candidates targeting three viral proteins (3CL viral protease, NSP15 endoribonuclease, and NSP12 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase), which included rutin, dexamethasone, and vemurafenib among others. To our knowledge, it is the first time that a TDA based strategy has been used to compare a massive amount of protein structures with the final objective of performing drug repurposing
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0447.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: spike protein; SARS-CoV-2; mutation; drug repurposing; digitoxin
Online: 20 August 2020 (08:24:41 CEST)
Novel SARS-CoV-2, a bat based virus originated in Wuhan, China that caused a global pandemic in December, 2019 belongs to the Betacorona virus family and contains single stranded genome of ~29Kbp. The host cell invasion of SARS-CoV-2 is facilitated by interaction of C-Terminal Domain (CTD) of Spike (S) protein of virus and host ACE2 receptor in the presence of TMPRSS seine protease secreted by the host cell. In this study the mutation hotspots of S-protein will be identified and the impact of such mutation in the binding affinity will be studied. Additionally, the lead molecule which can bind to the mutated protein also will be identified. Multiple sequence alignment of the spike protein sequence of SARS-CoV-2 shows the number of single amino acid mutation hotspots such as L5F, R214L, R408I, G476S, V483A, H519Q, A520S, T572I, D614G and H655Y. Among these mutations D614G has 57.5% occurrence and G476S, V483A has 7.5% occurrence. The mutated proteins were modelled based on wild type homolog and docked to ACE2 receptor. When the mutated S protein is docked, the ∆G (binding free energy) value is very minimal in mutated protein showed the stability of variants. By the drug repurposing method, 1000 FDA approved drugs were virtually screened for its binding to RBD of S1 domain. Among these drugs Digitoxin, Gliquidone and Zorubicin Hcl binds to spike proteins with higher docking score (lesser than -8.5 Kcal/mol) to both wild type and mutants.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0327.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: glioblastoma; renin-angiotensin system; cancer stem cells; drug repurposing
Online: 29 September 2019 (06:21:26 CEST)
Patients with glioblastoma (GB), a highly aggressive brain tumor, have a median survival of 14.6 months following neurosurgical resection with adjuvant chemoradiotherapy. Quiescent GB cancer stem cells (CSCs) invariably cause local recurrence. These GB CSCs that can be identified by embryonic stem cell markers express components of the renin-angiotensin system and are associated with circulating CSCs. Despite the presence of circulating CSCs, GB rarely develops distant metastasis outside the central nervous system. This paper reviews the current literature on GB growth inhibition in relation to CSCs, circulating CSCs, the RAS and the novel therapeutic approach by repurposing drugs that target the renin-angiotensin system to improve overall symptom-free survival and maintain quality of life.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0478.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Japanese encephalitis virus; drug repurposing; systems biology; antiviral agents
Online: 20 November 2018 (04:54:48 CET)
Japanese encephalitis is a zoonotic disease caused by Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV). It is mainly epidemic in Asia with an estimated 69,000 cases occurring per year. However, no approved agents are available for the treatment of JEV infection, and existing vaccines cannot resist various types of JEV strains. Drug repurposing is a new concept for finding new indication of existing drugs, and recently, it has been used to discover new antiviral agents. Identifying host proteins involved in the progress of JEV infection and using these proteins as targets are the center of drug repurposing for JEV infection. In this study, based on the gene expression data of JEV infection and the phenome-wide association study (PheWAS) data, we identified 286 genes participating in the progress of JEV infection using the systems biology methods. The enrichment analysis of these genes suggested that the genes identified by our methods were predominantly related to viral infection pathways and immune response-related pathways. We found that bortezomib which can target these genes may have potential effect on the treatment of JEV infection. Subsequently, we evaluated the antiviral activity of bortezomib using the JEV-infected mice model. The results showed that bortezomib can lower JEV-induced lethality in mice, alleviate suffering in JEV-infected mice and reduce the damage in brains caused by JEV infection. This work provides a new method for the development of antiviral agents.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0022.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; immunomodulation; immunology; immune system; pharmacotherapy; coronavirus; drug repurposing
Online: 1 July 2021 (12:59:44 CEST)
In the first year of its appearance, the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has affected more than 150 million individuals and killed 3 million people worldwide. The pandemic has also triggered numerous global initiatives to tackle the newly emerging disease, including the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and the attempt to discover potential pharmacological therapies. Nonetheless, despite the success of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines development, COVID-19 therapy remains challenging. Several repurposed drugs that were documented to be useful in small clinical trials have been shown to be ineffective in larger studies. Additionally, the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection displayed the predominance of hyperinflammation and immune dysregulation in inducing multiorgan damage. Therefore, the potential benefits of both immune modulation and suppression in COVID-19 have been extensively discussed. Here, we reviewed the roles of immunomodulation as potential COVID-19 pharmacological modalities based on the existing data and proposed several new immunologic targets to be tested in the foreseeable future.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0405.v1
Subject: Keywords: drug repurposing; antifungal therapy; antifungal mechanism; clinical application; antifungal agents
Online: 18 February 2021 (10:21:38 CET)
The morbidity and mortality caused by invasive fungal infections is increasing across the globe due to developments in transplant surgery, the use of immunosuppressive agents, and the emergence of drug-resistant fungal strains, which has led to a challenge in terms of treatment due to the limitations of three classes of drugs. Hence, it is imperative to establish effective strategies to identify and design new antifungal drugs. Drug repurposing is an effective way of expanding the application of existing drugs. In the last years, various existing drugs have been shown to be useful in the prevention and treatment of the invasive fungi. In this review, we summarize the currently used antifungal agents. In addition, the most up to date information on the effectiveness of existing drugs with antifungal activity is discussed. Moreover, the antifungal mechanisms of existing drugs are highlighted. These data will provide valuable knowledge to stimulate further investigation and clinical application in this field.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0108.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; hypothesis; pathophysiology; drug repurposing
Online: 7 July 2020 (02:50:55 CEST)
During the current COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, clinicians and scientists are working assiduously to unravel its pathophysiology and find effective treatments. An impressive number of papers has been published on SARS-CoV-2, exposing the complexity of the disease, the tendency of scientists to form hypotheses within their area of expertise, and the lack of orchestration of research. Hypotheses and research findings mainly complement each other, though sometimes controversies can be discerned among various theories and study results. Our overview aims to portray the ‘big picture’ of COVID-19, visualising the interwovenness of different pathophysiological pathways, with a focus on cytokine-induced pathology, the sequelae of ACE2 downregulation, and thrombosis associated with microvascular injury. It aids in overseeing the effects of repurposed drugs on intended targets, but also alerts to the (adverse) effects on interacting pathways. The overview shows how comorbidities probably increase susceptibility to (severe) COVID-19 and provides the possible pathophysiological origin of signs, symptoms, and biochemical abnormalities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0360.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; transcriptional inhibition; COVID-19; drug repurposing; TMPRSS2
Online: 28 April 2020 (09:39:02 CEST)
There is an urgent need to identify effective therapies for COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 host factor protease TMPRSS2 is required for viral entry and thus an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. In mouse, knockout of tmprss2 led to protection against SARS-CoV-1 with no deleterious phenotypes, and in human populations genetic loss of TMPRSS2 does not appear to be selected against. Here, we mined publicly available gene expression data to identify several compounds that down-regulate TMPRSS2. Recognizing the need for immediately available treatment options, we focused on FDA-approved drugs. We found 20 independent studies that implicate estrogenic and androgenic compounds as transcriptional modulators of TMPRSS2, suggesting these classes of drugs may be promising therapeutic candidates for clinical testing and observational studies of COVID-19. We also note that expression of TMPRSS2 is highly variable and skewed in humans, with a minority of individuals having extremely high expression. Combined with literature showing that inhibition of TMPRSS2 protease activity reduces SARS-CoV-2 viral entry in human cells, our results raise the hypothesis that modulation of TMPRSS2 expression is a promising therapeutic avenue for COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0224.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; drug discovery; multitargeting; computational drug repurposing
Online: 26 April 2022 (03:39:06 CEST)
The worldwide outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 in early 2020 caused numer- ous deaths and unprecedented measures to control its spread. We employed our Computational Analysis of Novel Drug Opportunities (CANDO) multiscale therapeutic discovery, repurposing, and design platform to identify small molecule inhibitors of the virus to treat its resulting indication, COVID-19. Initially, few experimental studies existed on SARS-CoV-2, so we optimized our drug candidate prediction pipelines using results from two independent high-throughput screens against prevalent human coronaviruses. Ranked lists of candidate drugs were generated using our open source cando.py software based on viral protein inhibition and proteomic interaction similarity. For the former viral protein inhibition pipeline, we computed interaction scores between all compounds in the corresponding candidate library and eighteen SARS-CoV proteins using an interaction scoring protocol with extensive parameter optimization which was then applied to the SARS-CoV-2 proteome for prediction. For the latter similarity based pipeline, we computed interaction scores between all compounds and human protein structures in our libraries then used a consensus scoring approach to identify candidates with highly similar proteomic interaction signatures to multiple known anti-coronavirus actives. We published our ranked candidate lists at the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, 51 of our 276 predictions have demonstrated anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity in published clinical and experimental studies. These results illustrate the ability our platform to rapidly respond to emergent pathogens and provide greater evidence that treating compounds in a multitarget context more accurately describes their behavior in biological systems.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0729.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: p53; p73; MDM2; MDMX; tumor suppressor; drug repurposing; aspirin; protoporphyrin IX; verteporfin
Online: 17 September 2020 (07:23:37 CEST)
p53 and p73 are critical tumor suppressors often inactivated in human cancers through various mechanisms. Owing to high structural homology, the proteins have many common functions and recognize the same set of genes involved in apoptosis and cell cycle regulation. p53 is known as the ‘guardian of the genome’ and together with p73 form a barrier against cancer development and progression. The TP53 is mutated in more than 50% of all human cancers and the germline mutations in TP53 predispose to the early onset of multiple tumors in Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), the inherited cancer predisposition. In cancers where TP53 gene is intact, p53 is degraded. Despite the ongoing efforts, the treatment of cancers remains challenging. This is due to late diagnoses, the toxicity of current standard of care and marginal benefit of newly approved therapies. Presently, the endeavours focus on reactivating p53 exclusively, neglecting the potential of the restoration of p73 protein for cancer eradication. Taken that several small molecules reactivating p53 failed in clinical trials, there is a need to develop new treatments targeting p53 proteins in cancer. This review outlines the most advanced strategies to reactivate p53 and p73 and describes drug repurposing approaches for the efficient reinstatement of the p53 proteins for cancer therapy.
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: mine lake; pit lake; closure; planning; repurposing; end use; water quality
Online: 21 December 2019 (12:21:14 CET)
Pit lakes can represent significant liabilities at mine closure. However, pit lakes also present opportunities to provide significant regional benefit and address residual closure risks of both their own and overall project closure, and even offset the environmental costs of mining by creating new end uses. Unfortunately, many pit lakes have continued to be abandoned without repurposing for an end use. We reviewed published pit lake repurposing case studies of abandoned mine pit lakes. We found beneficial end use type and outcome varied dependent upon climate and commodity; but equally important social and political dynamics that manifest as mining company commitments or regulatory requirements. Many end uses have been realized: passive and active recreation, nature conservation, fishery and aquaculture, drinking and industrial water storage, greenhouse carbon fixation, flood protection and waterway remediation, disposal of mine and other waste, mine water treatment and containment, and education and research. Common attributes and reasons that led to successful repurposing of abandoned pit lakes as beneficial end uses are discussed. Recommendations are given for all stages of mine closure planning to prevent pit lake abandonment and to achieve successful pit lake closure with beneficial end uses.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0346.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: drug discovery; drug repurposing; bioinformatics; machine learning; artificial intelligence; biomedical discoveries etc.
Online: 14 May 2021 (15:17:50 CEST)
Artificial intelligence AI or machine learning has proven to be a potential activity in the health and biomedical sciences. Previous research it has found that AI can learn new data and transform it into the useful knowledge. In the field of pharmacology, the aim is to design more efficient and novel vaccines using this method which are also cost effective. The underlying fact is to predict the molecular mechanism and structure for increased likelihood of developing new drugs. Clinical, electronic and high resolution imaging datasets can be used as inputs to aid the drug development niche. Moreover, the use of comprehensive target activity has been performed for repurposing a drug molecule by extending target profiles of drugs which also include off targets with therapeutic potential providing a new indication.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0242.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; long-haul; inflammation; tissue damage; drug repurposing
Online: 10 December 2020 (09:42:20 CET)
Long-haul COVID-19 illness first gained widespread recognition among social support groups and later in scientific and medical communities. This illness is mysterious as it affects COVID-19 survivors at all levels of disease severity, even younger adults and children. While the precise definition may be lacking, the defining symptoms are fatigue, dyspnea, and headache that last for months after hospital discharge. The less typical symptoms may include cognitive impairments, chest and joint pains, myalgia, smell and taste dysfunctions, cough, mood changes, and gastrointestinal and cardiac issues. Presently, there is limited literature discussing the possible pathophysiology, risk factors, and treatments in long-haul COVID-19, which the current review aims to address. In brief, long-haul COVID-19 may be driven by long-term lung and brain damage and unresolved inflammation from multiple sources. The associated risk factors may include female sex, more than five early symptoms, early dyspnea, and specific biomarkers like D-dimer. While only rehabilitation training has been useful for long-haul COVID-19, therapeutics repurposed from mast cell activation syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, and pulmonary fibrosis also hold potential. In sum, this review hopes to provide the current understanding of what is known about long-haul COVID-19.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0441.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Sars-Cov-2; Proteomic,; Ghost proteome,; Alternative proteins,; AltOrf.; interactomic; drug repurposing
Online: 16 November 2020 (17:50:19 CET)
Conventionally, eukaryotic mRNAs were thought to be monocistronic, leading to the translation of a single protein. However, large-scale proteomics has led to a massive identification of proteins translated from mRNAs of alternative ORF (AltORFs), in addition to the predicted proteins issued from the reference ORF or from ncRNAs. These alternative proteins (AltProts) are not represented in the conventional protein databases and this “Ghost proteome” was not considered until recently. Some of these proteins are functional and there is growing evidence that they are involved in central functions in physiological and physiopathological context. Based on our experience with AltProts we have got interested in finding out their involvement in development of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, responsible for the 2020 Covid-19 outbreak. Thus, we have scrutinized the recently published data by Krogan and coworkers (2020) on the SARS-CoV-2 interactome with host cells by co-IP in the perspective of drug repurposing. The initial work has revealed the interaction between 332 human cellular RefProts with the 27 viral proteins. Re-interrogation of this data using 23 viral targets and including AltProts, followed by enrichment of the interaction networks, leads to identify 218 RefProts (in common to initial study) plus 56 AltProts involved in 93 interactions. This demonstrates the necessity to take into account the Ghost proteome for discovering new therapeutic targets and establish new therapeutic strategies. Missing the ghost proteome in the drug metabolism and pharmacokinetic (DMPK) drug development pipeline will certainly be a major limitation to the establishment of efficient therapies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0232.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: Adverse drug reactions; Anti-COVID drugs; Coronavirus; Drug repurposing; Drug toxicity; Pharmacotherapy
Online: 18 June 2020 (12:43:43 CEST)
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is the current global public health threat with no specific, effective, and approved treatment available till date. The outbreak of COVID-19 has led the world into an unimagined and uncertain situation by disrupting the economies, claiming human lives, and leaving many into secondary mental health problems. As per the latest WHO report, approximately 8.2 million people are infected, and nearly 0.44 million lives are lost to COVID. The infection has spread to over 200 countries and territories around the world. The world is in search of efficient diagnostics and therapeutics, including vaccines, biologics and drugs. With the rapid increase in rates of infection and time constraints, drug repurposing seems to be a potential and viable option to find the promising anti-COVID therapeutics. In the wake of a rapid increase in the number of clinical trials involving drugs for repurposing, we aim to provide information on the safety concerns related to the drugs currently investigated in trials. This review also highlights the possible mechanisms of actions, adverse drug reactions, and contraindications of the drugs under repurposing evaluation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0393.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: SARS-CoV2; RNA depended RNA polymerase; Valproic acid Co-A; drug repurposing
Online: 26 March 2020 (15:04:22 CET)
SARS-CoV2 RNA depended RNA polymerase is an essential enzyme for the survival of the virus in hosts as it helps in the replication of viral RNA. There are no human polymerases that share either sequence or structural homology with viral RNA depended RNA polymerase. These make it a good target for inhibitor discovery, as a specific inhibitor cannot cross-react with the human polymerases. We have used virtual screening, docking, binding energy calculation and simulation to show that valproic acid Co-A, a metabolite from prodrug valproic acid, forms stable interaction with nsP12 of CoV. Our results suggest valproic acid Co-A could be a potential inhibitor of nsP12 of SARS-CoV2.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0349.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: novel coronavirus; COVID-19; protease; molecular docking; drug designing; ADME; drug repurposing
Online: 23 March 2020 (09:47:49 CET)
The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA ((+)ssRNA) virus. The COVID-19 Main Proteases play very important role in the propagation of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). It has already killed more than 8000 people around the world and thousands of people are getting infected every day. Therefore, it is very important to identify a potential inhibitor against COVID-19 Main Proteases to inhibit the propagation of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We have applied a drug repurposing approach of computational methodology, depending on the synergy of molecular docking and virtual screening techniques, aimed to identify possible potent inhibitors against Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from FDA approved antiviral compounds and from the library of active phytochemicals. On the basis of recently resolved COVID-19 Main Protease crystal structure (PDB:6LU7), the library of 100 FDA approved antiviral compounds and 1000 active components of Indian Medicinal Plants extracted for screening against COVID-19 Main Protease. The compounds were further screened using Pyrex virtual screening tool and then best inhibitors, top 19 compounds optimally docked to the COVID-19 Main Protease structure to understand the participation of specific amino acids with inhibitors at active sites. Total 19 best compounds were identified after screening based on their highest binding affinity with respect to the other screened compounds. Out of 19, 6 best compounds were further screened based on their binding affinity and best ADME properties. Nelfinavir exhibited highest binding energy -8.4 kcal/mol and strong stability with the TRP207, ILE281, LEU282, PHE3, PHE291, GLN127, ARG4, GLY283, GLU288, LYS5, LYS137, TYR126, GLY138, TYR126, SER139 and VAL135 amino acid residues of COVID-19 Main Protease participating in the interaction at the binding pocket. In addition to Nelfinavir (-8.4), Rhein (-8.1), Withanolide D (-7.8), Withaferin A (-7.7), Enoxacin (-7.4), and Aloe-emodin (-7.4) also showed good binding affinity and best ADME properties. Our findings suggest that these compounds can be used as potential inhibitors against COVID-19 Main Protease, which could be helpful in inhibiting the propagation of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Moreover, further in vitro and in vivo validation of these findings would be very helpful to bring these inhibitors to next level study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0025.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: drug repurposing; translational bioinformatics; transcriptomics; transcriptome analysis; drug discovery; protocol; gene expression
Online: 9 October 2016 (08:42:23 CEST)
Traditional methods for discovery and development of new drugs can be a very time-consuming and expensive process because it includes several stages such as compound identification, pre-clinical and clinical trials before the drug is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, drug repurposing, namely using currently FDA-approved drugs as therapeutics for other diseases than what they are originally prescribed for, is emerging to be a faster and more cost-effective alternative to current drug discovery methods. In this paper, we have described a three-step in silico protocol for analyzing transcriptomics data using online databases and bioinformatics tools for identifying potentially repurposable drugs. The efficacy of this protocol was evaluated by comparing its predictions with the findings of two case studies of recently reported repurposed drugs: HIV treating drug Zidovudine for the treatment of Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration and the antidepressant Imipramine for Small-Cell Lung Carcinoma. The proposed protocol successfully identified the published findings, thus demonstrating the efficacy of this method. In addition, it also yielded several novel predictions that have not yet been published, including the finding that Imipramine could potentially treat Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a disease that currently does not have any treatment or vaccine. Since this in-silico protocol is simple to use and does not require advanced computer skills, we believe any motivated participant with access to these databases and tools would be able to apply it to large datasets to identify other potentially repurposable drugs in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0203.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: enterovirus; antidepressant sertraline; drug repurposing; viral entry; host-cell targets; broad-spectrum antiviral
Online: 13 December 2021 (12:55:13 CET)
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is an etiological agent of hand foot and mouth disease and can also cause neurological complications in young children. However, there are no approved drugs to treat EV71 infections. In this study, we conducted an antiviral drug screening by using a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug library. We identified five drugs that showed dose-dependent inhibition of viral replication. Sertraline was further characterized because it exhibited the most potent antiviral activity with the highest selectivity index among the five hits. The antiviral activity of sertraline was noted for other EV serotypes. The drug’s antiviral effect is not likely associated with its approved indications as an antidepressant and its mode-of-action as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. The time-of-addition assay revealed that sertraline inhibited an EV71 infection at the entry stage. We also showed that sertraline partitioned into acidic compartments, such as endolysosomes, to neutralize the low pH levels. In agreement with the findings, the antiviral effect of sertraline could be relieved greatly by exposing virus-infected cells to extracellular low-pH culture media. Together, we have identified an FDA-approved antidepressant with the new indication for the broad-spectrum EV inhibition by blocking viral entry through the alkalization of the endolysosomal route.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0303.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: Inflammation; NF-κB; drug repurposing; drug development; autoimmunity; COVID-19; multiple sclerosis; rheumatoid arthritis
Online: 20 January 2022 (11:16:25 CET)
NF-κB is a central mediator of inflammation, response to DNA damage and oxidative stress. As a result of its central role in so many important cellular processes, NF-κB dysregulation has been implicated in the pathology of important human diseases. NF-κB activation causes inappropriate inflammatory responses in diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and multiple sclerosis (MS). Thus, modulation of NF-κB signaling is being widely investigated as an approach to treat chronic inflammatory diseases, autoimmunity and cancer. The emergence of COVID-19 in late 2019, the subsequent pandemic and the huge clinical burden of patients with life-threatening SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia led to a massive scramble to repurpose existing medicines to treat lung inflammation in a wide range of healthcare systems. These efforts continue and these efforts continue to be con-troversial. Drug repurposing strategies are a promising alternative to de-novo drug development, as they minimize drug development timelines and reduce the risk of failure due to unexpected side effects. Different experimental approaches have been applied to identify existing medicines which inhibit NF-κB that could be repurposed as anti-inflammatory drugs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0369.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; spike protein; ACE1; ACE2; host-virus interaction; drug repurposing
Online: 2 August 2020 (09:23:18 CEST)
Respiratory transmission is the primary route of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the known receptor of SARS-CoV-2 surface spike glycoprotein for entry into human cells. A recent study reported absent to low expression of ACE2 in a variety of human lung epithelial cell samples. Three bioprojects (PRJEB4337, PRJNA270632 and PRJNA280600) invariably found abundant expression of ACE1 (a homolog of ACE2 and also known as ACE) in human lungs compared to very low expression of ACE2. In fact, ACE1 has a wider and more abundant tissue distribution compared to ACE2. Although it is not obvious from the primary sequence alignment of ACE1 and ACE2, comparison of X-ray crystallographic structures show striking similarities in the regions of the peptidase domains (PD) of these proteins, which is known (for ACE2) to interact with the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Critical amino acids in ACE2 that mediate interaction with the viral spike protein are present and organized in the same order in the PD of ACE1. In silico analysis predicts comparable interaction of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with ACE1 and ACE2. In addition, this study predicts from a list of 1263 already approved drugs that may interact with ACE2 and/or ACE1, potentially interfere with the entry of SARS-CoV-2 inside the host cells and alleviate the symptoms of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0161.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: COVID-19; docking; drug repurposing; natural products; in silico drug design; viral replication inhibition
Online: 1 June 2020 (02:42:54 CEST)
We use state-of-the-art computer-aided drug design (CADD) techniques to identify prospective inhibitors of the main protease enzyme, 3CLpro of the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19. From our screening of over one million compounds including approved drugs, investigational drugs, natural products, and organic compounds, and a rescreening protocol incorporating enzyme dynamics via ensemble docking, we have been able to identify a range of prospective 3CLpro inhibitors. Importantly, some of the identified compounds had previously been reported to exhibit inhibitory activities against the 3CLpro enzyme of the closely related SARS-CoV virus. The top- ranking compounds are characterized by the presence of multiple bi- and monocyclic rings, many of them being heterocycles and aromatic, which are flexibly linked allowing the ligands to adapt to the geometry of the 3CLpro substrate site and involve a high amount of functional groups enabling hydrogen bond formation with surrounding amino acid residues, including the catalytic dyad residues H41 and C145. Among the top binding compounds we identified several tyrosine kinase inhibitors, which include a bioflavonoid, the group of natural products that binds best to 3CLpro. Another class of compounds that decently binds to the SARS-CoV-2 main protease are steroid hormones, which thus may be endogenous inhibitors and might provide an explanation for the age-dependent severity of COVID-19. Many of the compounds identified by our work show a considerably stronger binding than found for reference compounds with in vitro demonstrated 3CLpro inhibition and anticoronavirus activity. The compounds determined in this work thus represent a good starting point for the design of inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 replication.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0397.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Drug repurposing; N-acetyl-D-glucosamine; ORF1ab; Biodata mining; Protein modelling
Online: 24 May 2020 (18:49:41 CEST)
Causative agent of the viral pneumonia outbreak in the World identified as SARS-CoV2 leads to a severe respiratory illness like SARS and MERS. The pathogen spreading has turned into a pandemic dissemination and increased the mortality rate. Therefore, useful information is urgently necessary for effective control of the disease. Our study shows the existence of unvarying sequence with no mutation, including ORF1ab regions in 134 high-quality filtered genome sequences of SARS-CoV2 downloaded from the GISAID database. We have detected this sequence stability by using MAUVE analysis and pairwise alignment with Global Needleman Wunsch algorithm for each two different sequences, reciprocally. They also confirmed all these results were also with the Clustal W analysis. The first 6500 bp including ORF1ab region is an unvarying sequence. According to the highest TM-score of predicted protein structure analysis, the results showed it is very similar to spike protein of feline infectious peritonitis virus strain UU4 (PDB 6JX7) depending on amino acid sequences encoded by this unvarying region, and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine is the ligand of this protein. These results have confirmed that N-acetyl-D-glucosamine could play an important role in controlling of SARS-CoV-2. Also, our molecular docking analysis data supports a strong protein-ligand interaction of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine with spike receptor-binding domain bound with ACE2 (PDB 6M0J) and RNA-binding domain of nucleocapsid phosphoprotein (PDB 6WKP) from SARS CoV-2. Therefore, binding of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine to these proteins could inhibit SARS CoV-2’s replication. In the present work, we have suggested providing a repurposing compound for further in vitro and in vivo studies and new insights for ongoing clinical treatments as a new strategy to control of SARS-CoV-2 infections.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0429.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: drug repurposing; drug repositioning; computational biology; drug discovery; computational pharmacology; malaria; multitargeting; malaria treatment
Online: 19 November 2018 (07:31:08 CET)
Drug repurposing is a valuable tool for combating the slowing rates of novel therapeutic discovery. The Computational Analysis of Novel Drug Opportunities (CANDO) platform performs shotgun repurposing of 2030 indications/diseases using 3733 drugs/compounds to predict interactions with 46,784 proteins and relating them via proteomic interaction signatures. An accuracy is calculated by comparing interaction similarities of drugs approved for the same indications. We performed a unique subset analysis by breaking down the full protein library into smaller subsets and then recombining the best performing subsets into larger supersets. Up to 14% improvement in accuracy is seen upon benchmarking the supersets, representing a 100–1000 fold reduction in the number of proteins considered relative to the full library. Further analysis revealed that libraries comprised of proteins with more equitably diverse ligand interactions are important for describing compound behavior. Using one of these libraries to generate putative drug candidates against malaria results in more drugs that could be validated in the biomedical literature than the list suggested by the full protein library. Our work elucidates the role of particular protein subsets and corresponding ligand interactions that play a role in drug repurposing, with implications for drug design and machine learning approaches to improve the CANDO platform.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0418.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: virtual screening; molecular docking; drug repurposing; drug repositioning; anti-viral drugs; Coronavirus; COVID-19; 2019-nCoV; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 9 March 2020 (02:29:04 CET)
SARS-CoV-2 is the betacoronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. It was listed as a potential global health threat by WHO due to high mortality, high basic reproduction number and lack of clinically approved drugs and vaccines for COVID-19. The genomic sequence of the virus responsible for COVID-19, as well as the experimentally determined three dimensional structure of the Main protease (Mpro) are available. The reported structure of the target Mpro was utilized in this study to identify potential drugs for COVID-19 using molecular docking based virtual screening of all approved drugs. The results of this study confirm preliminary reports that some of the drugs approved for treatment of other viral infections have the potential for treatment of COVID-19. Selected antiviral drugs, approved for human therapeutic applications, were ranked for potential effectiveness against COVID-19, based on predicted binding energy to the target Mpro of SARS-CoV-2, and novel candidates for drug repurposing were identified in this study. In addition, potential mechanisms for beneficial off target effects of some drugs in clinical trials were identified by using molecular docking.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0310.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: COVID-19; CoviRx.org; database; drugs; pandemic; repurposing; SARS-CoV-2; therapies; treatments; Variants of Concern (VOC)
Online: 20 September 2022 (15:00:48 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2, is the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed more than six million lives worldwide, devastating the economy and overwhelming healthcare systems globally. The development of new drug molecules and vaccines has played a critical role in managing the pandemic; however, new variants of concern still pose a significant threat as the current vaccines cannot prevent all infections. This situation calls for the collaboration of biomedical scientists and healthcare workers across the world. Repurposing approved drugs is an effective way of fast-tracking new treatments for recently emerged diseases. To this end, we have assembled and curated a database consisting of 7817 compounds from the Compounds Australia Open Drug collection. We developed a set of eight filters based on indicators of efficacy and safety that were applied sequentially to down-select drugs that showed promise for drug repurposing efforts against SARS-CoV-2. Considerable effort was made to evaluate approximately 14000 assay data points for SARS-CoV-2 FDA/TGA-approved drugs and provide an average activity score for 3539 compounds. The filtering process identified 12 FDA approved molecules with established safety profiles that have a plausible mechanism for treating COVID-19 disease. The methodology developed in our study provides a template for prioritising repurposable drug candidates that are safe, efficacious, and cost-effective for the treatment of COVID-19, long COVID, or any other future disease. We present our database in an easy-to-use interactive interface (CoviRx, https://www.covirx.org/) that was also developed to enable scientific community to access to the data of over 7000 potential drugs and to implement alternative prioritisation and down-selection strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0305.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: drug repurposing; combination therapeutics; PubMed; ChEBI; disease ontology; gene ontology; drug interaction; MeSH terms; COVID-19
Online: 17 August 2022 (05:51:53 CEST)
This paper presents a computational approach designed to construct and query a literature-based knowledge graph for predicting novel drug therapeutics. The main objective is to offer a platform that discovers drug combinations from FDA-approved drugs and accelerates their investigations by domain scientists. Specifically, the paper introduced the following algorithms: (1) an algorithm for constructing the knowledge graph from drug, gene, and disease mentions in the biomedical literature; (2) an algorithm for vetting the knowledge graph from drug combinations that may pose a risk of drug interaction; (3) and two querying algorithms for searching the knowledge graph by a single drug or a combination of drugs. The resulting knowledge graph had 844 drugs, 306 gene/protein features, and 19 disease mentions. The original number of drug combinations generated was 2,001. We queried the knowledge graph to eliminate noise generated from chemicals that are not drugs. This step resulted in 614 drug combinations. When vetting the knowledge graph to eliminate the potentially risky drug combinations, it resulted in predicting 200 combinations. Our domain expert manually eliminated extra 54 combinations which left only 146 combination candidates. Our three-layered knowledge graph, empowered by our algorithms, offered a tool that predicted drug combination therapeutics for scientists who can further investigate from the viewpoint of drug targets and side effects.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0011.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: computational drug repositioning; drug repositioning; drug repurposing; machine learning; deep learning; crowdsourcing; open innovation; drug discovery
Online: 1 May 2018 (12:27:22 CEST)
Maximizing the indications potential and revenue from drugs that are already marketed offers a new take on the famous mantra of the Nobel Prize-winning pharmacologist, Sir James Black, “The most fruitful basis for the discovery of a new drug is to start with an old drug”. However, rational design of drug mixtures poses formidable challenges because of the lack of or limited information about in vivo cell regulation, mechanisms of genetic pathway activation, and in vivo pathway interactions. Most of the repositioned drugs therefore are the result of “serendipity” - based on late phase clinical studies of unexpected findings. One of the reasons that the connection between drug candidates and their potential adverse drug reactions or new applications could not be identified earlier is that the underlying mechanism associating them is either very intricate and unknown or dispersed and buried in a sea of information. Discovery of such multi-domain pharmacomodules - pharmacologically relevant sub-networks of biomolecules and/or pathways - from collection of databases by independent/simultaneous mining of multiple datasets is an active area of research. Here, while presenting some of the promising bioinformatics approaches and pipelines, we summarize and discuss the current and evolving landscape of computational drug repositioning.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0004.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; drug repurposing; artificial intelligence; target-target similarity network; drug-target interaction network
Online: 1 July 2022 (05:33:16 CEST)
The COVID-19 was described as a respiratory illness, however further studies recognize it as a complex heterogeneous multisystemic disorder. Global efforts have been proposed to combat COVID-19, emerging diverse therapeutic options, in which discovering new drug therapies, development of vaccines and drug repurposing have been considered the most promising approaches to fight the virus. This study aimed to repurpose known drugs for use against the COVID-19, finding better therapeutic options. Seventeen biological databases were used in this study. The genetic algorithm (GA) was performed for a set of drug target classes and COVID-19 proteins as input, whose drug candidates are obtained according to the target similarities found in the target-target similarity predictive network, resulting in a drug-target interaction network. Thus, recommended drugs correspond to the union of the drug subsets found during each GA execution. Twenty-eight drugs were indicated to be the best therapeutic targets for the virus, in special, the Cyclosporine drug was administered as adjuvant to steroid treatment for COVID-19 patients which showed positive outcomes, reducing mortality in moderate and severe cases. The drugs found have used to treat other diseases, evidencing that the COVID-19 is a multisystemic disorder and suggests that the viruses’ mechanism of action presents some comorbidity with other human diseases. Evidence shows that the drugs found in this research might act together to fight the virus in a broader fashion, however further studies including in vitro and in vivo experiments are needed to find the best combination of these drugs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0475.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: drug repurposing; virtual screening; multiscale; multitargeting; polypharmacology; computational biology; drug repositioning; structural bioinformatics; molecular docking; proteomic signature
Online: 19 April 2021 (12:22:05 CEST)
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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0440.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; 2019-nCoV; novel corona virus; drug repurposing; chloroquine; high-risk group; asymptomatic
Online: 30 March 2020 (07:24:16 CEST)
COVID-19 (2019-nCoV) is a pandemic disease with an estimated mortality rate of 3.4% (estimated by the WHO as of March 3, 2020). Until now there is no antiviral drug and vaccine for COVID-19. The current overwhelming situation by COVID-19 patients in hospitals is likely to increase in the next few months. About 15 percent of patients with serious disease in COVID-19 require immediate health services. Rather than waiting for new anti-viral drugs or vaccines that take a few months to years to develop and test, several researchers and public health agencies are attempting to repurpose medicines that are already approved for another similar disease and have proved to be fairly effective. This study aims to identify FDA approved drugs that can be used for drug repurposing and identify biomarkers among high- risk and asymptomatic groups. In this study gene-disease association related to COVID-19 reported mild, severe symptoms and clinical outcomes were determined. The high-risk group was studied related to SARS-CoV-2 viral entry and life cycle by using Disgenet and compared with curated COVID-19 gene data sets from the CTD database. The overlapped gene sets were enriched and the selected genes were constructed for protein-protein interaction networks. Through interactome, key genes were identified for COVID-19 and also for high risk and asymptomatic groups. The key hub genes involved in COVID-19 were VEGFA, TNF, IL-6, CXCL8, IL10, CCL2, IL1B, TLR4, ICAM1, MMP9. The identified key genes were used for drug-gene interaction for drug repurposing. The chloroquine, lenalidomide, pentoxifylline, thalidome, sorafenib, pacitaxel, rapamycin, cortisol, statins were proposed to be probable drug repurposing candidates for the treatment of COVID-19. However, these predicted drug candidates need to be validated through randomized clinical trials. Also, a key gene involved in high risk and the asymptomatic group were identified, which can be used as probable biomarkers for early identification.
DATA DESCRIPTOR | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0323.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: COVID-19; Open-source dataset; Drug Repurposing; Database system; Web application devel-opment; software development; Drug fingerprints; Bulk upload
Online: 21 September 2022 (10:14:11 CEST)
Although various vaccines are now commercially available, they have not been able to stop the spread of COVID-19 infection completely. An excellent strategy to quickly get safe, effective, and affordable COVID-19 treatment is to repurpose drugs that are already approved for other diseases as adjuvants along with the ongoing vaccine regime. The process of developing an accurate and standardized drug repurposing dataset requires a considerable level of resources and expertise due to the commercial availability of an extensive array of drugs that could be potentially used to address the SARS-CoV-2 infection. To address this bottleneck, we created the CoviRx platform. CoviRx is a user-friendly interface that provides access to the data, which is manually curated for COVID-19 drug repurposing data. Through CoviRx, the data curated has been made open-source to help advance drug repurposing research. CoviRx also encourages users to submit their findings after thoroughly validating the data, followed by merging it by enforcing uniformity and integ-rity-preserving constraints. This article discusses the various features of CoviRx and its design principles. CoviRx has been designed so that its functionality is independent of the data it dis-plays. Thus, in the future, this platform can be extended to include any other disease X beyond COVID-19. CoviRx can be accessed at www.covirx.org.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0199.v1
Subject: Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; CADD; virtual screening; approved drugs; drug repurposing; essential targets; molecular docking; molecular dynamics simulations
Online: 11 May 2020 (13:14:18 CEST)
The emergence of SARS/MERS drug resistant COVID-19 with high transmission and mortality has recently been declared a deadly pandemic causing economic chaos and significant health problems. Like all coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 is a large virus that has many druggable components within its proteome. In this study, we focused on repurposing approved and investigational drugs by identifying potential drugs that are predicted to effectively inhibit critical enzymes within SARS-CoV-2. We shortlisted seven target proteins with enzymatic activities known to be essential at different stages of the virus life cycle. For virtual screening, the energy minimization of a crystal structure or modeled protein was carried out using Protein Preparation Wizard (Schrödinger LLC, 2020-1). Following active site selection based on data mining and COACH predictions, we performed a high-throughput virtual screen of drugs (n=5903) that are already approved by worldwide regulatory bodies including the FDA, using the ZINC database. Screening was performed against viral targets using three sequential docking modes (i.e. HTVS, SP and XP). Our in-silico virtual screening identified ~290 potential drugs based on the criteria of energy, docking parameters, ligand and binding site strain and score. Drugs specific to each target protein were further analyzed for binding free energy perturbation by molecular mechanics (prime MM-GBSA) and pruning the hits to the top 32 candidates. A top lead from each target group was further subjected to molecular dynamics simulation (MDS) using the Desmond module to validate the efficacy of the screening pipeline. All of the simulated hit-target complexes were predicted to strongly interact and with highly stable binding. Thus, we have identified a number of approved and investigational drugs with high likelihood of inhibiting a variety of key SARS-CoV-2 proteins. Follow-up studies will continue to identify inhibitors suitable for combination therapy based on drug-drug synergy to thwart resistance. In addition, the screening hits that we have identified provide excellent probes for understanding the binding properties of the active sites of all seven targets, further enabling us to derive consensus molecules through computer-aided drug design (CADD). While infections are expanding at a rampant pace, it must be recognized that resistance will grow commensurately through either genetic shift and/or genetic drift to all small molecule drugs identified. Vaccines should provide a more permanent solution through prevention, but resistivity is still a possible scenario. Nevertheless, a persistent multi-target drug development program is essential to curb this ongoing pandemic and to keep reemergence in check.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0003.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: drug repositioning/repurposing; dopamine transporter (DAT); benztropine; tumoroids; signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT); circulating tumor cells (CTC); three-dimensional (3D) culture
Online: 3 February 2020 (03:16:54 CET)
Tumor growth, progression, and therapy resistance are crucial factors in the prognosis of cancer. Properties of three-dimensional tumor-like organoids (tumoroids) more closely resemble in vivo tumors compared to two-dimensionally cultured cells and are therefore effectively used for assays and drug screening. We here established a repurposed drug for novel anticancer research and therapeutics using a tumoroid-based screening system. We screened 6 pharmacologically active compounds by using an original tumoroid-based multiplex phenotypic screening system with matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) promoter-driven fluorescence reporter for the evaluation of both tumoroid formation and progression. The effects of one of the hit compounds were examined on tumor formation and progression in vitro and in vivo. Antiparkinson drug benztropine was the most effective compound uncovered by the screen. Benztropine significantly inhibited in vitro tumoroid formation, cancer cell survival, and MMP9 promoter activity. Benztropine also reduced the activity of oncogenic signaling transducers and trans-activators for MMP9, including STAT3, NF-κB, and β-catenin, and properties of cancer stem cells / cancer-initiating cells. Benztropine and GBR-12935 directly targeted the dopamine transporter DAT/SLC6A3, whose genetic alterations such as amplification were correlated with poor prognosis for cancer patients. Benztropine also inhibited tumor growth, circulating tumor cell (CTC) number, and rate of metastasis in a tumor allograft model in mice. In conclusion, we propose the repurposing of benztropine for anticancer research and therapeutics that can suppress tumor progression, CTC, and metastasis of aggressive cancers by reducing key pro-tumorigenic factors.