Proteome-informed machine learning studies of cocaine addiction

17 Sep 2021  ·  Kaifu Gao, Dong Chen, Alfred J Robison, Guo-Wei Wei ·

Cocaine addiction accounts for a large portion of substance use disorders and threatens millions of lives worldwide. There is an urgent need to come up with efficient anti-cocaine addiction drugs. Unfortunately, no medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), despite the extensive effort in the past few decades. The main challenge is the intricate molecular mechanisms of cocaine addiction, involving synergistic interactions among proteins upstream and downstream of dopamine transporter (DAT) functions impacted by cocaine. However, traditional in vivo or in vitro experiments can not address the roles of so many proteins, highlighting the need for innovative strategies in the field. We propose a proteome-informed machine learning/deep learning (ML/DL) platform to discover nearly optimal anti-cocaine addiction lead compounds. We construct and analyze proteomic protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks for cocaine dependence to identify 141 involved drug targets and represent over 60,000 associated drug candidates or experimental drugs in the latent space using an autoencoder (EA) model trained from over 104 million molecules. We build 32 ML models for cross-target analysis of these drug candidates for side effects and repurposing potential. We further screen the absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity (ADMET) properties of these candidates. Our platform reveals that essentially all of the existing drug candidates, including dozens of experimental drugs, fail to pass our cross-target and ADMET screenings. Nonetheless, we have identified two nearly optimal leads for further optimization.

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