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In BMC bioinformatics ; h5-index 0.0

BACKGROUND : Development of new drugs is a time-consuming and costly process, and the cost is still increasing in recent years. However, the number of drugs approved by FDA every year per dollar spent on development is declining. Drug repositioning, which aims to find new use of existing drugs, attracts attention of pharmaceutical researchers due to its high efficiency. A variety of computational methods for drug repositioning have been proposed based on machine learning approaches, network-based approaches, matrix decomposition approaches, etc. RESULTS: We propose a novel computational method for drug repositioning. We construct and decompose three-dimensional tensors, which consist of the associations among drugs, targets and diseases, to derive latent factors reflecting the functional patterns of the three kinds of entities. The proposed method outperforms several baseline methods in recovering missing associations. Most of the top predictions are validated by literature search and computational docking. Latent factors are used to cluster the drugs, targets and diseases into functional groups. Topological Data Analysis (TDA) is applied to investigate the properties of the clusters. We find that the latent factors are able to capture the functional patterns and underlying molecular mechanisms of drugs, targets and diseases. In addition, we focus on repurposing drugs for cancer and discover not only new therapeutic use but also adverse effects of the drugs. In the in-depth study of associations among the clusters of drugs, targets and cancer subtypes, we find there exist strong associations between particular clusters.

CONCLUSIONS : The proposed method is able to recover missing associations, discover new predictions and uncover functional clusters of drugs, targets and diseases. The clustering of drugs, targets and diseases, as well as the associations among the clusters, provides a new guiding framework for drug repositioning.

Wang Ran, Li Shuai, Cheng Lixin, Wong Man Hon, Leung Kwong Sak


Clustering, Drug repositioning, Drug-target-disease associations, Tensor decomposition