The role of drug profiles as similarity metrics: applications to repurposing, adverse effects detection and drug-drug interactions

Briefings in Bioinformatics
Santiago Vilar, George Hripcsak


Explosion of the availability of big data sources along with the development in computational methods provides a useful framework to study drugs' actions, such as interactions with pharmacological targets and off-targets. Databases related to protein interactions, adverse effects and genomic profiles are available to be used for the construction of computational models. In this article, we focus on the description of biological profiles for drugs that can be used as a system to compare similarity and create methods to predict and analyze drugs' actions. We highlight profiles constructed with different biological data, such as target-protein interactions, gene expression measurements, adverse effects and disease profiles. We focus on the discovery of new targets or pathways for drugs already in the pharmaceutical market, also called drug repurposing, in the interaction with off-targets responsible for adverse reactions and in drug-drug interaction analysis. The current and future applications, strengths and challenges facing all these methods are also discussed. Biological profiles or signatures are an important source of data generation to deeply analyze biological actions with important implications in drug-related studies.


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