Drug discovery in a multidimensional world: systems, patterns, and networks.
ABSTRACT Despite great strides in revealing and understanding the physiological and molecular bases of cardiovascular disease, efforts to translate this understanding into needed therapeutic interventions continue to lag far behind the initial discoveries. Although pharmaceutical companies continue to increase investments into research and development, the number of drugs gaining federal approval is in decline. Many factors underlie these trends, and a vast number of technological and scientific innovations are being sought through efforts to reinvigorate drug discovery pipelines. Recent advances in molecular profiling technologies and development of sophisticated computational approaches for analyzing these data are providing new, systems-oriented approaches towards drug discovery. Unlike the traditional approach to drug discovery which is typified by a one-drug-one-target mindset, systems-oriented approaches to drug discovery leverage the parallelism and high-dimensionality of the molecular data to construct more comprehensive molecular models that aim to model broader bimolecular systems. These models offer a means to explore complex molecular states (e.g., disease) where thousands to millions of molecular entities comprising multiple molecular data types (e.g., proteomics and gene expression) can be evaluated simultaneously as components of a cohesive biomolecular system. In this paper, we discuss emerging approaches towards systems-oriented drug discovery and contrast these efforts with the traditional, unidimensional approach to drug discovery. We also highlight several applications of these system-oriented approaches across various aspects of drug discovery, including target discovery, drug repositioning and drug toxicity. When available, specific applications to cardiovascular drug discovery are highlighted and discussed.
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ABSTRACT: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other deployment-related outcomes originate from a complex interplay between constellations of changes in DNA, environmental traumatic exposures, and other biological risk factors. These factors affect not only individual genes or bio-molecules but also the entire biological networks that in turn increase or decrease the risk of illness or affect illness severity. This review focuses on recent developments in the field of systems biology which use multidimensional data to discover biological networks affected by combat exposure and post-deployment disease states. By integrating large-scale, high-dimensional molecular, physiological, clinical, and behavioral data, the molecular networks that directly respond to perturbations that can lead to PTSD can be identified and causally associated with PTSD, providing a path to identify key drivers. Reprogrammed neural progenitor cells from fibroblasts from PTSD patients could be established as an in vitro assay for high throughput screening of approved drugs to determine which drugs reverse the abnormal expression of the pathogenic biomarkers or neuronal properties.European Journal of Psychotraumatology 08/2014; 5.
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ABSTRACT: Most neuroactive drugs were discovered through unexpected behavioral observations. Systematic behavioral screening is inefficient in most model organisms. But, automated technologies are enabling a new phase of discovery-based research in central nervous system (CNS) pharmacology. Researchers are using large-scale behavior-based chemical screens in zebrafish to discover compounds with new structures, targets, and functions. These compounds are powerful tools for understanding CNS signaling pathways. Substantial differences between human and zebrafish biology will make it difficult to translate these discoveries to clinical medicine. However, given the molecular genetic similarities between humans and zebrafish, it is likely that some of these compounds will have translational utility. We predict that the greatest new successes in CNS drug discovery will leverage many model systems, including in vitro assays, cells, rodents, and zebrafish.Frontiers in Pharmacology 01/2014; 5:153.
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ABSTRACT: Given the multi-factorial nature of cancer, uncovering its metabolic alterations and evaluating their implications is a major challenge in biomedical sciences that will help in the optimal design of personalized treatments. The advance of high-throughput technologies opens an invaluable opportunity to monitor the activity at diverse biological levels and elucidate how cancer originates, evolves and responds under drug treatments. To this end, researchers are confronted with two fundamental questions: how to interpret high-throughput data and how this information can contribute to the development of personalized treatment in patients. A variety of schemes in systems biology have been suggested to characterize the phenotypic states associated with cancer by utilizing computational modeling and high-throughput data. These theoretical schemes are distinguished by the level of complexity of the biological mechanisms that they represent and by the computational approaches used to simulate them. Notably, these theoretical approaches have provided a proper framework to explore some distinctive metabolic mechanisms observed in cancer cells such as the Warburg effect. In this review, we focus on presenting a general view of some of these approaches whose application and integration will be crucial in the transition from local to global conclusions in cancer studies. We are convinced that multidisciplinary approaches are required to construct the bases of an integrative and personalized medicine, which has been and remains a fundamental task in the medicine of this century.Seminars in Cancer Biology 04/2014; · 7.44 Impact Factor