A deep learning framework for high-throughput mechanism-driven phenotype compound screening
Target-based high-throughput compound screening dominates conventional one-drug-one-gene drug discovery process. However, the readout from the chemical modulation of a single protein is poorly correlated with phenotypic response of organism, leading to high failure rate in drug development. Chemical-induced gene expression profile provides an attractive solution to phenotype-based screening. However, the use of such data is currently limited by their sparseness, unreliability, and relatively
... throughput. Several methods have been proposed to impute missing values for gene expression datasets. However, few existing methods can perform de novo chemical compound screening. In this study, we propose a mechanism-driven neural network-based method named DeepCE (Deep Chemical Expression) which utilizes graph convolutional neural network to learn chemical representation and multi-head attention mechanism to model chemical substructure-gene and gene-gene feature associations. In addition, we propose a novel data augmentation method which extracts useful information from unreliable experiments in L1000 dataset. The experimental results show that DeepCE achieves the superior performances not only in de novo chemical setting but also in traditional imputation setting compared to state-of-the-art baselines for the prediction of chemical-induced gene expression. We further verify the effectiveness of gene expression profiles generated from DeepCE by comparing them with gene expression profiles in L1000 dataset for downstream classification tasks including drug-target and disease predictions. To demonstrate the value of DeepCE, we apply it to patient-specific drug repurposing of COVID-19 for the first time, and generate novel lead compounds consistent with clinical evidences. Thus, DeepCE provides a potentially powerful framework for robust predictive modeling by utilizing noisy omics data as well as screening novel chemicals for the modulation of systemic response to disease.