A critical task in pharmacogenomics is identifying genes that may be important modulators of drug response. High-throughput experimental methods are often plagued by false positives and do not take advantage of existing knowledge. Candidate gene lists can usefully summarize existing knowledge, but they are expensive to generate manually and may therefore have incomplete coverage. We have developed a method that ranks 12,460 genes in the human genome on the basis of their potential relevance to a specific query drug and its putative indications. Our method uses known gene-drug interactions, networks of gene-gene interactions, and available measures of drug-drug similarity. It ranks genes by building a local network of known interactions and assessing the similarity of the query drug (by both structure and indication) with drugs that interact with gene products in the local network. In a comprehensive benchmark, our method achieves an overall area under the curve of 0.82. To showcase our method, we found novel gene candidates for warfarin, gefitinib, carboplatin, and gemcitabine, and we provide the molecular hypotheses for these predictions.
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