Network Controllability-Based Prioritization of Candidates for SARS-CoV-2 Drug Repositioning


In a short time, the COVID-19 pandemic has left the world with over 25 million cases and staggering death tolls that are still rising. Treatments for SARS-CoV-2 infection are desperately needed as there are currently no approved drug therapies. With limited knowledge of viral mechanisms, a network controllability method of prioritizing existing drugs for repurposing efforts is optimal for quickly moving through the drug approval pipeline using limited, available, virus-specific data. Based on network topology and controllability, 16 proteins involved in translation, cellular transport, cellular stress, and host immune response are predicted as regulators of the SARS-CoV-2 infected cell. Of the 16, eight are prioritized as possible drug targets where two, PVR and SCARB1, are previously unexplored. Known compounds targeting these genes are suggested for viral inhibition study. Prioritized proteins in agreement with previous analysis and viral inhibition studies verify the ability of network controllability to predict biologically relevant candidates.

MDPI Viruses
Emily E. Ackerman
Emily E. Ackerman
Ph.D. Candidate

Sixth year Ph.D candidate in Chemical Engineering looking toward a future professorship with special interest in the advancement of underrepresented groups