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This article is part of the supplement: 22nd International Conference on Genome Informatics: Systems Biology

Open Access Open Badges Proceedings

Drug-drug relationship based on target information: application to drug target identification

Keunwan Park and Dongsup Kim*

Author Affiliations

Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, KAIST, 373-1, Guseong-dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 305-701, Republic of Korea

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BMC Systems Biology 2011, 5(Suppl 2):S12  doi:10.1186/1752-0509-5-S2-S12

Published: 14 December 2011



Drugs that bind to common targets likely exert similar activities. In this target-centric view, the inclusion of richer target information may better represent the relationships between drugs and their activities. Under this assumption, we expanded the “common binding rule” assumption of QSAR to create a new drug-drug relationship score (DRS).


Our method uses various chemical features to encode drug target information into the drug-drug relationship information. Specifically, drug pairs were transformed into numerical vectors containing the basal drug properties and their differences. After that, machine learning techniques such as data cleaning, dimension reduction, and ensemble classifier were used to prioritize drug pairs bound to a common target. In other words, the estimation of the drug-drug relationship is restated as a large-scale classification problem, which provides the framework for using state-of-the-art machine learning techniques with thousands of chemical features for newly defining drug-drug relationships.


Various aspects of the presented score were examined to determine its reliability and usefulness: the abundance of common domains for the predicted drug pairs, c.a. 80% coverage for known targets, successful identifications of unknown targets, and a meaningful correlation with another cutting-edge method for analyzing drug similarities. The most significant strength of our method is that the DRS can be used to describe phenotypic similarities, such as pharmacological effects.