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Papers of the Week

Papers: 19 Sep 2020 - 25 Sep 2020


Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 Sep 23

ACS Chem Neurosci

Pain Chemogenomics Knowledgebase (Pain-CKB) for Systems Pharmacology Target Mapping and PBPK Modeling Investigation of Opioid Drug-Drug Interactions.



More than 50 million adults in America suffer from chronic pain. Opioids are commonly prescribed for their effectiveness in relieving many types of pain. However, excessive prescribing of opioids can lead to abuse, addiction, and death. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), another major class of analgesic, also have many problematic side effects including headache, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, constipation, reduced appetite, and drowsiness. There is an urgent need for the understanding of molecular mechanisms that underlie drug abuse and addiction to aid in the design of new preventive or therapeutic agents for pain management. To facilitate pain related small-molecule signaling pathway studies and the prediction of potential therapeutic target(s) for the treatment of pain, we have constructed a comprehensive platform of pain domain-specific chemogenomics knowledgebase (Pain-CKB) with integrated data mining computing tools. Our new computing platform describes the chemical molecules, genes, proteins, and signaling pathways involved in pain regulation. Pain-CKB is implemented with a friendly user-interface for the prediction of the relevant protein targets and analysis and visualization of the outputs, including HTDocking, TargetHunter, BBB predictor, and Spider Plot. Combining with other novel tools, we performed three case studies to systematically demonstrate how further studies can be conducted based on the data generated from Pain-CKB and its algorithms/tools. First, systems pharmacology target mapping was carried out for four FDA approved analgesics in order to identify the known target and predict off-targets. Subsequently, the target mapping outcomes were applied to build physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models for acetaminophen and fentanyl to explore the drug-drug interaction (DDI) between this pair of drugs. Finally, pharmaco-analytics was conducted to explore the detailed interaction pattern of acetaminophen reactive metabolite and its hepatotoxicity target thioredoxin reductase.