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Urooba Nadeem, Bingqing Xie, Edward F. Xie, Mark D'Souza, David Dao, Dinanath Sulakhe, Dimitra Skondra; Using Advanced Bioinformatics Tools to Identify Novel Therapeutic Candidates for Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2022;11(8):10. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.11.8.10.
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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of aging-related blindness in the developing world. Although medications can slow progressive wet AMD, currently, no drugs to treat dry-AMD are available. We use a systems or in silico biology analysis to identify chemicals and drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for other indications that can be used to treat and prevent AMD.
We queried National Center for Biotechnology Information to identify genes associated with AMD, wet AMD, dry AMD, intermediate AMD, and geographic atrophy to date. We combined genes from various AMD subtypes to reflect distinct stages of disease. Enrichment analysis using the ToppGene platform predicted molecules that can influence AMD genes. Compounds without clinical indications or with deleterious effects were manually filtered.
We identified several drug/chemical classes that can affect multiple genes involved in AMD. The drugs predicted from this analysis include antidiabetics, lipid-lowering agents, and antioxidants, which could theoretically be repurposed for AMD. Metformin was identified as the drug with the strongest association with wet AMD genes and is among the top candidates in all dry AMD subtypes. Curcumin, statins, and antioxidants are also among the top drugs correlating with AMD-risk genes.
We use a systematic computational process to discover potential therapeutic targets for AMD. Our systematic and unbiased approach can be used to guide targeted preclinical/clinical studies for AMD and other ocular diseases.
Advanced bioinformatics models identify novel chemicals and approved drug candidates that can be efficacious for different subtypes of AMD.
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