Systematic analyses of drugs and disease indications in RepurposeDB reveal pharmacological, biological and epidemiological factors influencing drug repositioning.

Abstract Increase in global population and growing disease burden due to the emergence of infectious diseases (Zika virus), multidrug-resistant pathogens, drug-resistant cancers (cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer) and chronic diseases (arterial hypertension) necessitate effective therapies to improve health outcomes. However, the rapid increase in drug development cost demands innovative and sustainable drug discovery approaches. Drug repositioning, the discovery of new or improved therapies by reevaluation of approved or investigational compounds, solves a significant gap in the public health setting and improves the productivity of drug development. As the number of drug repurposing investigations increases, a new opportunity has emerged to understand factors driving drug repositioning through systematic analyses of drugs, drug targets and associated disease indications. However, such analyses have so far been hampered by the lack of a centralized knowledgebase, benchmarking data sets and reporting standards. To address these knowledge and clinical needs, here, we present RepurposeDB, a collection of repurposed drugs, drug targets and diseases, which was assembled, indexed and annotated from public data. RepurposeDB combines information on 253 drugs [small molecules (74.30%) and protein drugs. Full PDF...

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Automated cell type discovery and classification through knowledge transfer.

Abstract Motivation: Recent advances in mass cytometry allow simultaneous measurements of up to 50 markers at single-cell resolution. However, the high dimensionality of mass cytometry data introduces computational challenges for automated data analysis and hinders translation of new biological understanding into clinical applications. Previous studies have applied machine learning to facilitate processing of mass cytometry data. However, manual inspection is still inevitable and becoming the barrier to reliable large-scale analysis. Results: We present a new algorithm called Automated Cell-type Discovery and Classification (ACDC) that fully automates the classification of canonical cell populations and highlights novel cell types in mass cytometry data. Evaluations on real-world data show ACDC provides accurate and reliable estimations compared to manual gating results. Additionally, ACDC automatically classifies previously ambiguous cell types to facilitate discovery. Our findings suggest that ACDC substantially improves both reliability and interpretability of results obtained from high-dimensional mass cytometry profiling data. Availability: A Python package (Python 3) and analysis scripts for reproducing the results are availability on https://bitbucket.org/dudleylab/acdc. Full PDF...

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High-Throughput Characterization of Blood Serum Proteomics of IBD Patients with Respect to Aging and Genetic Factors.

Abstract To date, no large scale, systematic description of the blood serum proteome has been performed in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. By using microarray technology, a more complete description of the blood proteome of IBD patients is feasible. It may help to achieve a better understanding of the disease. We analyzed blood serum profiles of 1128 proteins in IBD patients of European descent (84 Crohn’s Disease (CD) subjects and 88 Ulcerative Colitis (UC) subjects) as well as 15 healthy control subjects, and linked protein variability to patient age (all cohorts) and genetic components (genotype data generated from CD patients). We discovered new, previously unreported aging-associated proteomic traits (such as serum Albumin level), confirmed previously reported results from different tissues (i.e., upregulation of APOE with aging), and found loss of regulation of MMP7 in CD patients. In carrying out a genome wide genotype-protein association study (proteomic Quantitative Trait Loci, pQTL) within the CD patients, we identified 41 distinct proteomic traits influenced by cis pQTLs (underlying SNPs are referred to as pSNPs). Significant overlaps between pQTLs and cis eQTLs corresponding to the same gene were observed and in some cases the QTL were related to inflammatory disease susceptibility. Importantly, we discovered that serum protein levels of MST1 (Macrophage Stimulating 1) were regulated by SNP rs3197999 (p = 5.96E-10, FDR<5%), an accepted GWAS locus for IBD. Filling the knowledge gap of molecular mechanisms between GWAS hits and disease susceptibility requires systematically dissecting the impact of the locus at the cell, mRNA expression, and protein levels. The technology and analysis tools that are now available for large-scale molecular studies can elucidate how alterations in the proteome driven by genetic polymorphisms cause or provide protection against disease. Herein, we demonstrated this directly by integrating proteomic and pQTLs with existing GWAS, mRNA expression, and eQTL datasets to provide insights into the biological processes underlying IBD and pinpoint causal genetic variants along with their downstream molecular consequences. Full PDF...

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Integrative Analysis of Disease Signatures Shows Inflammation Disrupts Juvenile Experience-Dependent Cortical Plasticity.

Abstract Throughout childhood and adolescence, periods of heightened neuroplasticity are critical for the development of healthy brain function and behavior. Given the high prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism, identifying disruptors of developmental plasticity represents an essential step for developing strategies for prevention and intervention. Applying a novel computational approach that systematically assessed connections between 436 transcriptional signatures of disease and multiple signatures of neuroplasticity, we identified inflammation as a common pathological process central to a diverse set of diseases predicted to dysregulate plasticity signatures. We tested the hypothesis that inflammation disrupts developmental cortical plasticity in vivo using the mouse ocular dominance model of experience-dependent plasticity in primary visual cortex. We found that the administration of systemic lipopolysaccharide suppressed plasticity during juvenile critical period with accompanying transcriptional changes in a particular set of molecular regulators within primary visual cortex. These findings suggest that inflammation may have unrecognized adverse consequences on the postnatal developmental trajectory and indicate that treating inflammation may reduce the burden of neurodevelopmental...

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Novel Therapeutics Identification for Fibrosis in Renal Allograft Using Integrative Informatics Approach.

Abstract Chronic allograft damage, defined by interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy (IF/TA), is a leading cause of allograft failure. Few effective therapeutic options are available to prevent the progression of IF/TA. We applied a meta-analysis approach on IF/TA molecular datasets in Gene Expression Omnibus to identify a robust 85-gene signature, which was used for computational drug repurposing analysis. Among the top ranked compounds predicted to be therapeutic for IF/TA were azathioprine, a drug to prevent acute rejection in renal transplantation, and kaempferol and esculetin, two drugs not previously described to have efficacy for IF/TA. We experimentally validated the anti-fibrosis effects of kaempferol and esculetin using renal tubular cells in vitro and in vivo in a mouse Unilateral Ureteric Obstruction (UUO) model. Kaempferol significantly attenuated TGF-β1-mediated profibrotic pathways in vitro and in vivo, while esculetin significantly inhibited Wnt/β-catenin pathway in vitro and in vivo. Histology confirmed significantly abrogated fibrosis by kaempferol and esculetin in vivo. We developed an integrative computational framework to identify kaempferol and esculetin as putatively novel therapies for IF/TA and provided experimental evidence for their therapeutic activities in vitro and in vivo using preclinical models. The findings suggest that both drugs might serve as therapeutic options for IF/TA. Full PDF...

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