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Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) is a major drug-metabolizing enzyme that represents 20% of the hepatic CYPs and is responsible for the metabolism of 15% of drugs. A general concern in drug discovery is to avoid the inhibition of CYP leading to toxic drug accumulation and adverse drug-drug interactions. However, the prediction of CYP inhibition remains challenging due to its complexity. We developed an original machine learning approach for the prediction of drug-like molecules inhibiting CYP2C9. We created new predictive models by integrating CYP2C9 protein structure and dynamics knowledge, an original selection of physicochemical properties of CYP2C9 inhibitors, and machine learning modeling. We tested the machine learning models on publicly available data and demonstrated that our models successfully predicted CYP2C9 inhibitors with an accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of approximately 80%. We experimentally validated the developed approach and provided the first identification of the drugs vatalanib, piriqualone, ticagrelor and cloperidone as strong inhibitors of CYP2C9 with IC values <18 μM and sertindole, asapiprant, duvelisib and dasatinib as moderate inhibitors with IC50 values between 40 and 85 μM. Vatalanib was identified as the strongest inhibitor with an IC50 value of 0.067 μM. Metabolism assays allowed the characterization of specific metabolites of abemaciclib, cloperidone, vatalanib and tarafenacin produced by CYP2C9. The obtained results demonstrate that such a strategy could improve the prediction of drug-drug interactions in clinical practice and could be utilized to prioritize drug candidates in drug discovery pipelines.


Elodie Goldwaser, Catherine Laurent, Nathalie Lagarde, Sylvie Fabrega, Laure Nay, Bruno O Villoutreix, Christian Jelsch, Arnaud B Nicot, Marie-Anne Loriot, Maria A Miteva. Machine learning-driven identification of drugs inhibiting cytochrome P450 2C9. PLoS computational biology. 2022 Jan;18(1):e1009820

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PMID: 35081108

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