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Edward F. Xie, Bingqing Xie, Urooba Nadeem, Mark D'Souza, Gonnah Reem, Dinanath Sulakhe, Dimitra Skondra; Using Advanced Bioinformatics Tools to Identify Novel Therapeutic Candidates for Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2023;12(5):19. https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.12.5.19.
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Proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) is the dreaded cause of failure following retinal detachment repair; however, no cures or preventative therapies exist to date. The purpose of this study was to use bioinformatics tools to identify drugs or compounds that interact with biomarkers and pathways involved in PVR pathogenesis that could be eligible for further testing for the prevention and treatment of PVR.
We queried PubMed to compile a comprehensive list of genes described in PVR to date from human studies, animal models, and genomic studies found in the National Center for Biotechnology Information database. Gene enrichment analysis was performed using ToppGene on PVR-related genes against drug–gene interaction databases to construct a pharmacome and estimate the statistical significance of overrepresented compounds. Compounds with no clinical indications were filtered out from the resulting drug lists.
Our query identified 34 unique genes associated with PVR. Out of 77,146 candidate drugs or compounds in the drug databases, our analysis revealed multiple drugs and compounds that have significant interactions with genes involved in PVR, including antiproliferatives, corticosteroids, cardiovascular agents, antioxidants, statins, and micronutrients. Top compounds, including curcumin, statins, and cardiovascular agents such as carvedilol and enalapril, have well-established safety profiles and potentially could be readily repurposed for PVR. Other significant compounds such as prednisone and methotrexate have shown promising results in ongoing clinical trials for PVR.
This bioinformatics approach of studying drug–gene interactions can identify drugs that may affect genes and pathways implicated in PVR. Predicted bioinformatics studies require further validation by preclinical or clinical studies; however, this unbiased approach could identify potential candidates among existing drugs and compounds that could be repurposed for PVR and guide future investigations.
Novel repurposable drug therapies for PVR can be found using advanced bioinformatics models.
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