Campbell, J., Ryan, C.J., Brough, R., Bajrami, I., Pemberton, H.N., Chong, I.Y., Costa-Cabral, S., Frankum, J., Gulati, A., Holme, H., et al.
(2016). Large-Scale Profiling of Kinase Dependencies in Cancer Cell Lines. Cell rep,
One approach to identifying cancer-specific vulnerabilities and therapeutic targets is to profile genetic dependencies in cancer cell lines. Here, we describe data from a series of siRNA screens that identify the kinase genetic dependencies in 117 cancer cell lines from ten cancer types. By integrating the siRNA screen data with molecular profiling data, including exome sequencing data, we show how vulnerabilities/genetic dependencies that are associated with mutations in specific cancer driver genes can be identified. By integrating additional data sets into this analysis, including protein-protein interaction data, we also demonstrate that the genetic dependencies associated with many cancer driver genes form dense connections on functional interaction networks. We demonstrate the utility of this resource by using it to predict the drug sensitivity of genetically or histologically defined subsets of tumor cell lines, including an increased sensitivity of osteosarcoma cell lines to FGFR inhibitors and SMAD4 mutant tumor cells to mitotic inhibitors. .
Workman, P., Clarke, P.A. & Al-Lazikani, B.
(2016). Blocking the survival of the nastiest by HSP90 inhibition. Oncotarget,
It is now recognised that genetic, epigenetic and phenotypic heterogeneity within individual human cancers is responsible for therapeutic resistance - knowledge that is having a profound impact on current thinking and experimentation. There has been concern that molecularly targeted therapy is doomed to failure, with resistant clones emerging in response to the Darwinian selective pressure of any drug treatment. However, two studies have shown that the evolution of drug resistance can be restrained by co-administration of a pharmacologic inhibitor of the HSP90 molecular chaperone..
Patel, M.N., Halling-Brown, M.D., Tym, J.E., Workman, P. & Al-Lazikani, B.
(2013). Objective assessment of cancer genes for drug discovery. Nat rev drug discov,
Selecting the best targets is a key challenge for drug discovery, and achieving this effectively, efficiently and systematically is particularly important for prioritizing candidates from the sizeable lists of potential therapeutic targets that are now emerging from large-scale multi-omics initiatives, such as those in oncology. Here, we describe an objective, systematic, multifaceted computational assessment of biological and chemical space that can be applied to any human gene set to prioritize targets for therapeutic exploration. We use this approach to evaluate an exemplar set of 479 cancer-associated genes, reveal the tension between biological relevance and chemical tractability, and describe major gaps in available knowledge that could be addressed to aid objective decision-making. We also propose drug repurposing opportunities and identify potentially druggable cancer-associated proteins that have been poorly explored with regard to the discovery of small-molecule modulators, despite their biological relevance..
Halling-Brown, M.D., Bulusu, K.C., Patel, M., Tym, J.E. & Al-Lazikani, B.
(2012). canSAR: an integrated cancer public translational research and drug discovery resource. Nucleic acids res,
canSAR is a fully integrated cancer research and drug discovery resource developed to utilize the growing publicly available biological annotation, chemical screening, RNA interference screening, expression, amplification and 3D structural data. Scientists can, in a single place, rapidly identify biological annotation of a target, its structural characterization, expression levels and protein interaction data, as well as suitable cell lines for experiments, potential tool compounds and similarity to known drug targets. canSAR has, from the outset, been completely use-case driven which has dramatically influenced the design of the back-end and the functionality provided through the interfaces. The Web interface at http://cansar.icr.ac.uk provides flexible, multipoint entry into canSAR. This allows easy access to the multidisciplinary data within, including target and compound synopses, bioactivity views and expert tools for chemogenomic, expression and protein interaction network data..
Gaulton, A., Bellis, L.J., Bento, A.P., Chambers, J., Davies, M., Hersey, A., Light, Y., McGlinchey, S., Michalovich, D., Al-Lazikani, B., et al.
(2012). ChEMBL: a large-scale bioactivity database for drug discovery. Nucleic acids res,
ChEMBL is an Open Data database containing binding, functional and ADMET information for a large number of drug-like bioactive compounds. These data are manually abstracted from the primary published literature on a regular basis, then further curated and standardized to maximize their quality and utility across a wide range of chemical biology and drug-discovery research problems. Currently, the database contains 5.4 million bioactivity measurements for more than 1 million compounds and 5200 protein targets. Access is available through a web-based interface, data downloads and web services at: https://www.ebi.ac.uk/chembldb..
Al-Lazikani, B., Banerji, U. & Workman, P.
(2012). Combinatorial drug therapy for cancer in the post-genomic era. Nat biotechnol,
Over the past decade, whole genome sequencing and other 'omics' technologies have defined pathogenic driver mutations to which tumor cells are addicted. Such addictions, synthetic lethalities and other tumor vulnerabilities have yielded novel targets for a new generation of cancer drugs to treat discrete, genetically defined patient subgroups. This personalized cancer medicine strategy could eventually replace the conventional one-size-fits-all cytotoxic chemotherapy approach. However, the extraordinary intratumor genetic heterogeneity in cancers revealed by deep sequencing explains why de novo and acquired resistance arise with molecularly targeted drugs and cytotoxic chemotherapy, limiting their utility. One solution to the enduring challenge of polygenic cancer drug resistance is rational combinatorial targeted therapy..
Berriman, M., Haas, B.J., LoVerde, P.T., Wilson, R.A., Dillon, G.P., Cerqueira, G.C., Mashiyama, S.T., Al-Lazikani, B., Andrade, L.F., Ashton, P.D., et al.
(2009). The genome of the blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni. Nature,
Schistosoma mansoni is responsible for the neglected tropical disease schistosomiasis that affects 210 million people in 76 countries. Here we present analysis of the 363 megabase nuclear genome of the blood fluke. It encodes at least 11,809 genes, with an unusual intron size distribution, and new families of micro-exon genes that undergo frequent alternative splicing. As the first sequenced flatworm, and a representative of the Lophotrochozoa, it offers insights into early events in the evolution of the animals, including the development of a body pattern with bilateral symmetry, and the development of tissues into organs. Our analysis has been informed by the need to find new drug targets. The deficits in lipid metabolism that make schistosomes dependent on the host are revealed, and the identification of membrane receptors, ion channels and more than 300 proteases provide new insights into the biology of the life cycle and new targets. Bioinformatics approaches have identified metabolic chokepoints, and a chemogenomic screen has pinpointed schistosome proteins for which existing drugs may be active. The information generated provides an invaluable resource for the research community to develop much needed new control tools for the treatment and eradication of this important and neglected disease..
Agüero, F., Al-Lazikani, B., Aslett, M., Berriman, M., Buckner, F.S., Campbell, R.K., Carmona, S., Carruthers, I.M., Chan, A.W., Chen, F., et al.
(2008). Genomic-scale prioritization of drug targets: the TDR Targets database. Nat rev drug discov,
The increasing availability of genomic data for pathogens that cause tropical diseases has created new opportunities for drug discovery and development. However, if the potential of such data is to be fully exploited, the data must be effectively integrated and be easy to interrogate. Here, we discuss the development of the TDR Targets database (http://tdrtargets.org), which encompasses extensive genetic, biochemical and pharmacological data related to tropical disease pathogens, as well as computationally predicted druggability for potential targets and compound desirability information. By allowing the integration and weighting of this information, this database aims to facilitate the identification and prioritization of candidate drug targets for pathogens..
Overington, J.P., Al-Lazikani, B. & Hopkins, A.L.
(2006). How many drug targets are there?. Nat rev drug discov,
For the past decade, the number of molecular targets for approved drugs has been debated. Here, we reconcile apparently contradictory previous reports into a comprehensive survey, and propose a consensus number of current drug targets for all classes of approved therapeutic drugs. One striking feature is the relatively constant historical rate of target innovation (the rate at which drugs against new targets are launched); however, the rate of developing drugs against new families is significantly lower. The recent approval of drugs that target protein kinases highlights two additional trends: an emerging realization of the importance of polypharmacology, and also the power of a gene-family-led approach in generating novel and important therapies..
Santos, R., Ursu, O., Gaulton, A., Bento, A.P., Donadi, R.S., Bologa, C.G., Karlsson, A., Al-Lazikani, B., Hersey, A., Oprea, T.I., et al.
A comprehensive map of molecular drug targets. Nat rev drug discov,
The success of mechanism-based drug discovery depends on the definition of the drug target. This definition becomes even more important as we try to link drug response to genetic variation, understand stratified clinical efficacy and safety, rationalize the differences between drugs in the same therapeutic class and predict drug utility in patient subgroups. However, drug targets are often poorly defined in the literature, both for launched drugs and for potential therapeutic agents in discovery and development. Here, we present an updated comprehensive map of molecular targets of approved drugs. We curate a total of 893 human and pathogen-derived biomolecules through which 1,578 US FDA-approved drugs act. These biomolecules include 667 human-genome-derived proteins targeted by drugs for human disease. Analysis of these drug targets indicates the continued dominance of privileged target families across disease areas, but also the growth of novel first-in-class mechanisms, particularly in oncology. We explore the relationships between bioactivity class and clinical success, as well as the presence of orthologues between human and animal models and between pathogen and human genomes. Through the collaboration of three independent teams, we highlight some of the ongoing challenges in accurately defining the targets of molecular therapeutics and present conventions for deconvoluting the complexities of molecular pharmacology and drug efficacy..