Publications by authors named "Allen Cornett"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Systematic Chemogenetic Library Assembly.

Cell Chem Biol 2020 09 23;27(9):1124-1129. Epub 2020 Jul 23.

Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research, 181 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address:

Chemogenetic libraries, collections of well-defined chemical probes, provide tremendous value to biomedical research but require substantial effort to ensure diversity as well as quality of the contents. We have assembled a chemogenetic library by data mining and crowdsourcing institutional expertise. We are sharing our approach, lessons learned, and disclosing our current collection of 4,185 compounds with their primary annotated gene targets (https://github.com/Novartis/MoaBox). This physical collection is regularly updated and used broadly both within Novartis and in collaboration with external partners.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chembiol.2020.07.004DOI Listing
September 2020

Evidence-Based and Quantitative Prioritization of Tool Compounds in Phenotypic Drug Discovery.

Cell Chem Biol 2016 07 14;23(7):862-874. Epub 2016 Jul 14.

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc., 250 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address:

The use of potent and selective chemical tools with well-defined targets can help elucidate biological processes driving phenotypes in phenotypic screens. However, identification of selective compounds en masse to create targeted screening sets is non-trivial. A systematic approach is needed to prioritize probes, which prevents the repeated use of published but unselective compounds. Here we performed a meta-analysis of integrated large-scale, heterogeneous bioactivity data to create an evidence-based, quantitative metric to systematically rank tool compounds for targets. Our tool score (TS) was then tested on hundreds of compounds by assessing their activity profiles in a panel of 41 cell-based pathway assays. We demonstrate that high-TS tools show more reliably selective phenotypic profiles than lower-TS compounds. Additionally we highlight frequently tested compounds that are non-selective tools and distinguish target family polypharmacology from cross-family promiscuity. TS can therefore be used to prioritize compounds from heterogeneous databases for phenotypic screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chembiol.2016.05.016DOI Listing
July 2016

Causal Network Models for Predicting Compound Targets and Driving Pathways in Cancer.

J Biomol Screen 2014 Jun 11;19(5):791-802. Epub 2014 Feb 11.

Developmental & Molecular Pathways, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA.

Gene-expression data are often used to infer pathways regulating transcriptional responses. For example, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) induced by compound treatment can help characterize hits from phenotypic screens, either by correlation with known drug signatures or by pathway enrichment. Pathway enrichment is, however, typically computed with DEGs rather than "upstream" nodes that are potentially causal of "downstream" changes. Here, we present graph-based models to predict causal targets from compound-microarray data. We test several approaches to traversing network topology, and show that a consensus minimum-rank score (SigNet) beat individual methods and could highly rank compound targets among all network nodes. In addition, larger, less canonical networks outperformed linear canonical interactions. Importantly, pathway enrichment using causal nodes rather than DEGs recovers relevant pathways more often. To further validate our approach, we used integrated data sets from the Cancer Genome Atlas to identify driving pathways in triple-negative breast cancer. Critical pathways were uncovered, including the epidermal growth factor receptor 2-phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase-AKT-MAPK growth pathway andATR-p53-BRCA DNA damage pathway, in addition to unexpected pathways, such as TGF-WNT cytoskeleton remodeling, IL12-induced interferon gamma production, and TNFR-IAP (inhibitor of apoptosis) apoptosis; the latter was validated by pooled small hairpin RNA profiling in cancer cells. Overall, our approach can bridge transcriptional profiles to compound targets and driving pathways in cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1087057114522690DOI Listing
June 2014

Rethinking molecular similarity: comparing compounds on the basis of biological activity.

ACS Chem Biol 2012 Aug 31;7(8):1399-409. Epub 2012 May 31.

Center for Proteomic Chemistry, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research Inc., 250 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

Since the advent of high-throughput screening (HTS), there has been an urgent need for methods that facilitate the interrogation of large-scale chemical biology data to build a mode of action (MoA) hypothesis. This can be done either prior to the HTS by subset design of compounds with known MoA or post HTS by data annotation and mining. To enable this process, we developed a tool that compares compounds solely on the basis of their bioactivity: the chemical biological descriptor "high-throughput screening fingerprint" (HTS-FP). In the current embodiment, data are aggregated from 195 biochemical and cell-based assays developed at Novartis and can be used to identify bioactivity relationships among the in-house collection comprising ~1.5 million compounds. We demonstrate the value of the HTS-FP for virtual screening and in particular scaffold hopping. HTS-FP outperforms state of the art methods in several aspects, retrieving bioactive compounds with remarkable chemical dissimilarity to a probe structure. We also apply HTS-FP for the design of screening subsets in HTS. Using retrospective data, we show that a biodiverse selection of plates performs significantly better than a chemically diverse selection of plates, both in terms of number of hits and diversity of chemotypes retrieved. This is also true in the case of hit expansion predictions using HTS-FP similarity. Sets of compounds clustered with HTS-FP are biologically meaningful, in the sense that these clusters enrich for genes and gene ontology (GO) terms, showing that compounds that are bioactively similar also tend to target proteins that operate together in the cell. HTS-FP are valuable not only because of their predictive power but mainly because they relate compounds solely on the basis of bioactivity, harnessing the accumulated knowledge of a high-throughput screening facility toward the understanding of how compounds interact with the proteome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/cb3001028DOI Listing
August 2012

A lead discovery strategy driven by a comprehensive analysis of proteases in the peptide substrate space.

Protein Sci 2010 Nov;19(11):2096-109

Lead Discovery Informatics, Lead Finding Platform, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc., 250 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.

We present here a comprehensive analysis of proteases in the peptide substrate space and demonstrate its applicability for lead discovery. Aligned octapeptide substrates of 498 proteases taken from the MEROPS peptidase database were used for the in silico analysis. A multiple-category naïve Bayes model, trained on the two-dimensional chemical features of the substrates, was able to classify the substrates of 365 (73%) proteases and elucidate statistically significant chemical features for each of their specific substrate positions. The positional awareness of the method allows us to identify the most similar substrate positions between proteases. Our analysis reveals that proteases from different families, based on the traditional classification (aspartic, cysteine, serine, and metallo), could have substrates that differ at the cleavage site (P1-P1') but are similar away from it. Caspase-3 (cysteine protease) and granzyme B (serine protease) are previously known examples of cross-family neighbors identified by this method. To assess whether peptide substrate similarity between unrelated proteases could reliably translate into the discovery of low molecular weight synthetic inhibitors, a lead discovery strategy was tested on two other cross-family neighbors--namely cathepsin L2 and matrix metallo proteinase 9, and calpain 1 and pepsin A. For both these pairs, a naïve Bayes classifier model trained on inhibitors of one protease could successfully enrich those of its neighbor from a different family and vice versa, indicating that this approach could be prospectively applied to lead discovery for a novel protease target with no known synthetic inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pro.490DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3005781PMC
November 2010