Open MoA: revealing the mechanism of action (MoA) based on network topology and hierarchy.

Liao X, Ozcan M, Shi M, Kim W, Jin H, Li X, Turkez H, Achour A, Uhlén M, Mardinoglu A, Zhang C

Bioinformatics 39 (11) - [2023-11-01; online 2023-11-06]

Many approaches in systems biology have been applied in drug repositioning due to the increased availability of the omics data and computational biology tools. Using a multi-omics integrated network, which contains information of various biological interactions, could offer a more comprehensive inspective and interpretation for the drug mechanism of action (MoA). We developed a computational pipeline for dissecting the hidden MoAs of drugs (Open MoA). Our pipeline computes confidence scores to edges that represent connections between genes/proteins in the integrated network. The interactions showing the highest confidence score could indicate potential drug targets and infer the underlying molecular MoAs. Open MoA was also validated by testing some well-established targets. Additionally, we applied Open MoA to reveal the MoA of a repositioned drug (JNK-IN-5A) that modulates the PKLR expression in HepG2 cells and found STAT1 is the key transcription factor. Overall, Open MoA represents a first-generation tool that could be utilized for predicting the potential MoA of repurposed drugs and dissecting de novo targets for developing effective treatments. Source code is available at

Adil Mardinoglu

SciLifeLab Fellow

PubMed 37930015

DOI 10.1093/bioinformatics/btad666

Crossref 10.1093/bioinformatics/btad666

pmc: PMC10637856
pii: 7334463

Publications 9.5.0