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Computational Cell Cycle Profiling of Cancer Cells for Prioritizing FDA-Approved Drugs with Repurposing Potential.

  • Author(s): Lo, Yu-Chen;
  • Senese, Silvia;
  • France, Bryan;
  • Gholkar, Ankur A;
  • Damoiseaux, Robert;
  • Torres, Jorge Z
  • et al.

Discovery of first-in-class medicines for treating cancer is limited by concerns with their toxicity and safety profiles, while repurposing known drugs for new anticancer indications has become a viable alternative. Here, we have developed a new approach that utilizes cell cycle arresting patterns as unique molecular signatures for prioritizing FDA-approved drugs with repurposing potential. As proof-of-principle, we conducted large-scale cell cycle profiling of 884 FDA-approved drugs. Using cell cycle indexes that measure changes in cell cycle profile patterns upon chemical perturbation, we identified 36 compounds that inhibited cancer cell viability including 6 compounds that were previously undescribed. Further cell cycle fingerprint analysis and 3D chemical structural similarity clustering identified unexpected FDA-approved drugs that induced DNA damage, including clinically relevant microtubule destabilizers, which was confirmed experimentally via cell-based assays. Our study shows that computational cell cycle profiling can be used as an approach for prioritizing FDA-approved drugs with repurposing potential, which could aid the development of cancer therapeutics.

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