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In iScience

RNA viruses are responsible for many zoonotic diseases that post great challenges for public health. Effective therapeutics against these viral infections remain limited. Here, we deployed a computational framework for host-based drug repositioning to predict potential antiviral drugs from 2,352 approved drugs and 1,062 natural compounds embedded in herbs of traditional Chinese medicine. By systematically interrogating public genetic screening data, we comprehensively cataloged host dependency genes (HDGs) that are indispensable for successful viral infection corresponding to 10 families and 29 species of RNA viruses. We then utilized these HDGs as potential drug targets and interrogated extensive drug-target interactions through database retrieval, literature mining, and de novo prediction using artificial intelligence-based algorithms. Repurposed drugs or natural compounds were proposed against many viral pathogens such as coronaviruses including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), flaviviruses, and influenza viruses. This study helps to prioritize promising drug candidates for in-depth evaluation against these virus-related diseases.

Li Zexu, Yao Yingjia, Cheng Xiaolong, Chen Qing, Zhao Wenchang, Ma Shixin, Li Zihan, Zhou Hu, Li Wei, Fei Teng


Bioinformatics, Molecular Biology, Pharmacoinformatics