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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Jun 2023 - 30 Jun 2023

Basic Science

In Silico Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Abdominal/Pelvic Pain, Inflammation/Inflammatory

2023 Jun 08





Using a Quantitative High-Throughput Screening Platform to Identify Molecular Targets and Compounds as Repurposing Candidates for Endometriosis.


Churchill ML, Holdsworth-Carson SJ, Cowley KJ, Luu J, Simpson KJ, Healey M, Rogers PAW, Donoghue JF


Endometriosis, defined as the growth of hormonally responsive endometrial-like tissue outside of the uterine cavity, is an estrogen-dependent, chronic, pro-inflammatory disease that affects up to 11.4% of women of reproductive age and gender-diverse people with a uterus. At present, there is no long-term cure, and the identification of new therapies that provide a high level of efficacy and favourable long-term safety profiles with rapid clinical access are a priority. In this study, quantitative high-throughput compound screens of 3517 clinically approved compounds were performed on patient-derived immortalized human endometrial stromal cell lines. Following assay optimization and compound criteria selection, a high-throughput screening protocol was developed to enable the identification of compounds that interfered with estrogen-stimulated cell growth. From these screens, 23 novel compounds were identified, in addition to their molecular targets and in silico cell-signalling pathways, which included the neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction pathway, metabolic pathways, and cancer-associated pathways. This study demonstrates for the first time the feasibility of performing large compound screens for the identification of new translatable therapeutics and the improved characterization of endometriosis molecular pathophysiology. Further investigation of the molecular targets identified herein will help uncover new mechanisms involved in the establishment, symptomology, and progression of endometriosis.