H. Naveed, U.S. Hameed, D. Harrus, W. Bourguet, S.T. Arold, X. Gao
31(24), pp. 3922-3929, (2015)
Motivation: The inherent promiscuity of small molecules towards protein targets impedes our understanding of healthy versus diseased metabolism. This promiscuity also poses a challenge for the pharmaceutical industry as identifying all protein targets is important to assess (side) effects and repositioning opportunities for a drug.
Results: Here, we present a novel integrated structure- and system-based approach of drug-target prediction (iDTP) to enable the large-scale discovery of new targets for small molecules, such as pharmaceutical drugs, co-factors and metabolites (collectively called ‘drugs’). For a given drug, our method uses sequence order–independent structure alignment, hierarchical clustering and probabilistic sequence similarity to construct a probabilistic pocket ensemble (PPE) that captures promiscuous structural features of different binding sites on known targets. A drug’s PPE is combined with an approximation of its delivery profile to reduce false positives. In our cross-validation study, we use iDTP to predict the known targets of 11 drugs, with 63% sensitivity and 81% specificity. We then predicted novel targets for these drugs—two that are of high pharmacological interest, the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and the oncogene B-cell lymphoma 2, were successfully validated through in vitro binding experiments. Our method is broadly applicable for the prediction of protein-small molecule interactions with several novel applications to biological research and drug development.