ISSN (Print): 1389-2002
ISSN (Online): 1875-5453
Volume 20, 14 Issues, 2019
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ISSN (Print): 1389-2002
ISSN (Online): 1875-5453
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Special Issue Submission
"Current Drug Metabolism is an important new source of current and comprehensive reviews that are of interest to drug metabolism scientists working in academia, industry and government."
David S. Riddick
Univ. of Toronto, Canada
Thank you very much for publishing our article ' Virus-Host Interactions: New Insights And Advances In Drug Development Against Viral Pathogens ' in your esteemed journal "Current Drug Metabolism". It was great experience working with Bentham Science Publishers
(Department of Animal Biotechnology, LLR University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Hisar, Haryana, 125004, India)
1 Abstract Ahead of Print are available electronically
15 Articles Ahead of Print are available electronically
With the development of high-throughput sequencing techniques, more and more sequencing data is available, including genomics reads,
transcriptomes data, and proteomics sequences, which provide us an opportunity for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account
individual variability in environment, lifestyle and genes for each person. Thus, it is critical to develop protein drugs and identify protein drug
targets. Application of machine learning techniques in protein drugs and drugs targets discovery is more and more popular because these
techniques can extract the essential characteristics of research object and improve accuracies of models, which is needed by all biological
scholars [1, 2]. This special issue was hosted in various aspects of the development and application of machine learning techniques in protein
drugs and drug targets data analysis.
In this special issue, ten works were published for describing the development of drug design and drug target discovery by using machine
learning methods. Drug discovery is very important for pharmaceutical industries. At its current stage, it is still an expensive and timeconsuming
process for discovering new drugs. Machine learning techniques have been widely applied in the field. Stephenson et al. reviewed
the potential application of Artificial Intelligent (AI) techniques in the field of drug discovery . This review provides a survey to understand
the current status of machine learning techniques in the drug discovery field within both academic and industrial settings. They also
discussed the AI potential future applications and several interesting patterns in drug discovery fields.
Peptide-Fc fusion drugs are a category of biological therapeutics in which the Fc region of antibody is fused genetically to a peptide of
interest. Ning et al. summarized the key steps of peptide-Fc fusion technology and stressed the main computational resources, tools, and
methods that were helpful for the rational design of peptide-Fc fusion drugs . Moreover, they raised open questions about the computeraided
molecular design of peptide-Fc fusions. Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs) are molecular chaperones. They are associate with multiple kinds
of diseases. Chen et al. summarized the development of HSP families’ classification and prediction by using machine learning methods .
Several published online servers were listed which will provide convenience to most of wet-experimental scholars.
Protein–peptide recognition and interaction plays an essential role in the orchestration and regulation of cell signaling networks. Li et al.
presented a systematic review of applying machine learning techniques to perform the quantitative modeling and prediction of protein–
peptide binding affinity, particularly focusing on its implications for therapeutic peptide design . They briefly introduce the physical quantities
used to characterize protein–peptide affinity and extend the content of generalized machine learning methods. They also discussed the
existing issues and future perspective on the computational prediction of protein–peptide binding affinity.
To understand the functions of target proteins binding and regulating by drugs is crucial to against the diseases. Two reviews focused on
the drug-target identification. Hu et al. provided a systematic overview of recent work on identifying drug targets . They summarized the
published drug-target database, wet- and dry-experimental techniques on drug targets discovery and published results obtained from machine
learning method. Zhang et al. focused on the recent advances of drug-target interaction prediction by using machine learning methods .
They also listed the published datasets, and introduced features for drugs and targets. Since similarity index are important for prediction, they
introduced how to calculate similarities based on training data or published features. Finally, they summarized and compared the performance
of different machine learning-based prediction methods.
Virus-host protein interactions play essential roles in viral infection and antiviral defenses. Targeting critical viral-host Protein-protein
Interactions (PPIs) has enormous application prospects for therapeutics. Using computational method to identify virus-host PPIs could provide
new opportunities for gaining biological insights, including applications in disease control. Zheng et al. provided an overview of recent
computational approaches for studying virus-host PPI interactions . The pivotal and representative features extracted from relevant sources
of biological data were described. They also introduced some state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms in the field and discussed their
abilities, weakness and future directions. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide, which was caused by Human
Papillomavirus (HPV). Thus, Yao et al. focused on HPV identification. They discussed the advantage and disadvantage of several classical
approaches which have been applied for the risk type prediction of HPV . Especially, many computational methods were proposed for
this prediction issue.
Cell-penetrating Peptides (CPPs) are important short peptides that can transport drug molecules through the plasma membrane and send
these molecules to different cellular organelles. Thus, Wei et al. summarized the machine learning-based CPP identification methods and
compared the construction strategies of 11 different computational methods . Furthermore, they pointed out the limitations and difficulties
in predicting CPPs. The future development direction of CPP recognition with computational methods was finally discussed.
Drug metabolism is one of the most complicated pharmacokinetic properties to be understood and predicted. Xiong et al. reviewed the
computational study on cytochrome P450 enzymes which play a key role in the phase I metabolism of foreign compounds including most of
Humans and mammals must successfully evolve metabolic system, to effectively deal with the inevitable exposure to a lot of nutrients
and chemicals (xenobiotics) from the exogenous food and environment, especially endogenous toxic metabolic by-products, in order to maintain
homeostasis and survive in nature. This exogenous nutrients and chemical defense task are undertaken by the hepatic metabolism and
detoxification system mediated by the xenobiotic receptors, which at least include the Pregnane X Receptor (PXR), Constitutive Androstane
Receptor (CAR) and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) . PXR and CAR are the bona fide nuclear receptors, which have been cloned in all
vertebrates, indicating the evolutionary conservation for metabolic detoxification . AhR has been identified as ligand activated transcription
factor of the bHLH/PAS family, and mediating the toxic responses of dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other related compounds
It is reported that PXR plays a critical role in organism's metabolic detoxification system by sensing the presence of xenobiotics and triggering
detoxification responses. Additionally, PXR has pleiotropic functions in regulating immune and inflammatory responses, cell proliferation,
bile acid and cholesterol metabolism, glucose and lipid metabolism, steroid and endocrine homeostasis, as well as bone metabolism.
Pu et al. summarized the effects of xenobiotic nuclear receptors on metabolic syndromes. Chen et al. concluded how xenobiotic receptors
mediate hepatic glycolipid metabolism. Recent research suggests that the PXR is required for maintaining healthy commensalism between
microbiota and gut . Interestingly, the metabolites such as indole derivatives from commensal microbes serve as the ligands for the PXR in
intestinal epithelium forming an intricate mutualistic interaction between host and microbiota.
AhR recognizes xenobiotics as well as natural compounds such as tryptophan metabolites, dietary components and microbiota-derived
factors , and it is important for maintenance of homeostasis at mucosal surfaces. AhR activation induces cytochrome P450 1 (CYP1) enzymes,
which oxygenate AhR ligands, leading to their metabolic clearance and detoxification . Thus, CYP1 enzymes have an important
feedback role that curtails the duration of AhR signaling . It is reported that intestinal epithelial cells serve as gatekeepers for the supply of
AhR ligands to the host and emphasize the importance of feedback control in modulating AhR pathway activation . Tryptophan catabolites
from microbiota engage aryl hydrocarbon receptor and balance mucosal reactivity via IL-22 . Tryptophan mediates the IDO1-AhR axis in
host-microbial symbiosis . Ji et al. reviewed the cross-regulatory circuit between AhR and microbiota. Tryptophan metabolite activation
of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor regulates IL-10 receptor expression on intestinal epithelia .
In addition, other factors have reported to be involved in the crosstalk between nutrients and xenobiotic receptors. Feng et al. concluded
Kisspeptin and its effect on mammalian spermatogensis. Zhang et al. summarized the role of E-cadherin in Helicobacter pylori-related gastric
diseases. Wang et al. summarized the amino acid metabolism in dairy cows and their regulation in milk synthesis. Zhou et al reviewed soy
isoflavones and their effects on xenobiotic metabolism. Abdallah et al. concluded application of traditional Chinese herbal medicine byproducts
as dietary feed supplements and antibiotic replacements in animal production.
This special issue collects and provides an overview of the current understanding of the pattern of the crosstalk between nutrients and
xenobiotic receptors, as well as its dysfunction induced metabolic diseases, particularly the critical signal pathways, which will shed light on
revealing potential targets for therapeutics.
A variety of factors can affect the patients' responses to therapeutic drugs, such as race, gender, age, etc., while genetic polymorphisms
are the main causes of individual differences in drug responses. The genetic polymorphisms are not only closely related to the incidence of
diseases such as tumors, Alzheimers, and Parkisnsons, but also affect the metabolism, activity, and toxicity of the drugs. The studies of genetic
polymorphisms on drug metabolizing enzymes, transporters, and targets are helpful to clarify the relationships between gene mutation
and efficacy or safety of drugs. Patients could be given different therapies according to different genotypes, which may significantly improve
the therapeutic effect. Genetic polymorphisms provide a new way for individualized treatments besides therapeutic drug monitoring. At present,
the relationships between genetic polymorphisms of many drugs and clinical outcomes have been very clear. For example, the guideline
emphasizes that genetic testing has the vital significance when taking warfarin. However, although genetic polymorphisms of many drugs
have been reported, some studies are controversial, it is also necessary to integrate various genetic factors for further research.
Therefore, this special issue of Current Drug Metabolism is to publish some valuable reviews on how genetic polymorphisms affect the
pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic parameters of several therapeutic drugs, including antitumor drugs, antiasthmatic drugs, immunosuppressive
agents, anti-infective drug, EGFR Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs), and Recombinant Human Growth Hormone (rhGH),
new oral anticoagulant, humanized anti-α4 integrin monoclonal antibody, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Receptor (PDGFR) kinase inhibitors.
We aim to provide current genetic research progress on these therapeutic drugs which are widely used in clinic therapy.
Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a potent central nervous system depressant, used as a
recreational drug of abuse. It is quite frequently found in forensic investigations of subjects alive
or dead. GHB in the form of sodium salt is a registered therapeutic agent approved of by some
countries in treating narcolepsy-associated cataplexy and is an adjuvant medication for
detoxification and withdrawal in alcohol abusers. GHB is endogenously produced and traces can
be found (0.5-1.0 mg/L) in various tissues, including the brain, where it functions as both a
precursor and a metabolite of the major inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid
(GABA). Information available indicates that GHB serves as a neurotransmitter or
neuromodulator in the GABAergic system, and in particular via binding to the GABA-B receptor
Taking into account the dual nature of this compound, endogenous and exogenous, various
points need to be clarified and this special issue aims to focus on them, trying to provide the
most updated scientific evidence in this field.
Moreover, the role of new GHB metabolites, such as GHB-glucuronide (GHB-Gluc) and the
sulfonated metabolite of GHB (GHB-SUL) and their detection window in biological samples,
with particular emphasis on alternative matrices, will be given for forensic purposes, especially
in cases of drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA), and clinical purposes both in the short and
long-term monitoring of patients under sodium oxybate treatment.
Tumor is one of the most serious threats to human beings. Benefiting from the fast development of nanotechnology, many kinds of
nanoparticles that constructed from various nanomaterials were developed for tumor diagnosis and therapy. Nanoparticles have gained great
attention of both academy and industry. However, few nanoparticles were approved for clinical application although thousands were developed
in lab. Therefore, in this theme issue, we invited several contributors to discuss the application of various kinds of nanoparticles in tumor
targeting drug delivery, as well as their advantages and shortages.
Based on their good biocompatibility and low toxicity, polymeric nanoparticles have gained much attention in gene and drug delivery to
tumor. However, the drug delivery efficiency by polymeric nanoparticles is greatly hindered by the rapid opsonization, phagocytic uptake and
subsequent clearance from bloodstream. Therefore, in the first review, Hu et al. firstly discussed the factors that influence the blood circulation
of polymeric nanoparticles, including particle size, shape, zeta potential and hydrophilicity. Then some natural and synthetic polymers
used in the constructing of nanoparticles were reviewed, such as gelatin, polysaccharides, cyclodextrin, and synthetic polymers. While several
preparation methods were also discussed, including polymerization techniques, precipitation techniques, film extension techniques, and particle
replication in non-wetting templates. Finally, methods to achieve long blood circulation time were reviewed.
In the review provided by Zhang et al., authors further discussed the strategies in long circulating drug delivery by nanoparticles. To
achieve the long blood circulation time, PEGylation is widely used in modification surface of nanoparticles to inhibit the adsorption of opsonins
in blood. As an alternative of finding new nanomaterials especially new surface coating materials, biomimetic nanoparticles showed great
potential because they can adopt the intrinsic long circulation behavior of biological components, such as red blood cells, cancer cells, macrophages,
bacteria, viruses and lipoproteins. The application of these strategies and the constructed nanoparticles were detailed reviewed in the
Safety of nanomaterials is a great concern for clinical application, that is why only few formulations were approved by Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) of US. To meet the safety concern, natural polymers are good candidates to constructing nanoparticles. Polysaccharide
is one of the most widely explored and used natural polymers, and many kinds of derives were developed to provide excellent properties in
drug delivery. In the review, Dr. Tong and Dr. Ma summarized the representative examples of polysaccharides used in drug delivery, such as
chitosan, hyaluronic acid, dextran and pullulan. Because of their widely application in tumor targeting diagnosis and treatment, the reviewed
discussed several aspects of the application of polysaccharide, including gene delivery, small molecular drug delivery, no matter polysaccharide-
drug conjugates or drug encapsulation, combinational drug delivery, and finally theranostics. In the review, many examples were provided
with in-deep discussion.
As a supplement to the natural polymers, nature products could be directly used in treatment of cancers. Therefore, Dr. Cai and Dr. Yu
reviewed the application of natural products in cancer therapy by targeting the apoptosis pathways. In the review, key proteins involved in the
regulation of apoptosis were firstly summarized, including Cytochrome c, Bcl-2 family, p53, Fas, Survivin, Caspase family, Nuclear factor-
B, and Protein Kinase B. Then various kinds of natural products that can target these proteins were reviewed.
Gold nanoparticles are most widely used inorganic nanomaterials in cancer diagnosis and therapy, while many kinds of anisotropic gold
nanoparticles are developed, including gold nanospheres, gold nanoclusters, one-dimensional gold nanorods, two-dimensional gold nanoplates,
gold nanoshells, platonic gold nanoparticles, hollow gold nanoparticles and other types of gold nanoparticles. In the review provided
by Dr. Shevtsov et al., the various synthesis methods for these kinds of gold nanoparticles were summarized. Then the application of gold
nanoparticles in drug delivery was reviewed. Gold nanoparticles have been used in many aspects of tumor treatment and diagnosis, such as
modification tumor microenvironment, radiosensitization, photothermal therapy, and photodynamic therapy. All these researches demonstrated
the great potential of gold nanoparticles in tumor management.
At last, as a kind of cancers with highest incidence, lung cancer was paid with particular attention. Zheng et al. reviewed the nanoparticles
in management of lung cancer, including polymeric nanoparticles, lipid nanoparticles, human serum albumin nanoparticles, and inorganic
nanoparticles. Then the various models used for different application routes were reviewed. Finally, the clinical application of these administration
routes and formulations were discussed.
Mental disorders such schizophrenia, depression, bipolar and anxiety disorders are leading causes of disability and multimorbidity in the
modern society. In recent years, major advances were made in order to understand the molecular basis of these disorders aiming to discover
potential new drugs. Unfortunately, the majority of these efforts have been unsuccessful. Many other studies have been focused on understanding
the mechanism of action of drugs used for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers and
antipsychotics using isolated systems. Many incredible discoveries were made which allowed us to develop better treatment options to improve
the quality of life of patients struggling with these disorders.
Today, clinicians and scientists are combining forces to better understand different connections of the brain-body relationship that were
refuted for many years because of the general idea of the brain as an independent and isolated tissue. The concept of a two-way relationship
between depression and cardiovascular disease, or the gut-brain axis is only gaining more space and credibility. We are in the moment of
understanding how our complex body is interconnected in the way that a single insult in a remote part of our body could lead to molecular
changes in our brain.
We are also better understanding the side effects of distinct drugs, such as antidepressants, and their impact on a population with cardiovascular
disease or the relationship between long-term lithium intake and cancer proliferation. More studies are still needed to confirm these
suggestions; however, they are thought-provoking.
This thematic issue, devoted to the study of current pharmacological treatments involved in mental disorders introduce an interesting interface
intended to explore (i) the safety limits of the use of antidepressants on cardiovascular function , (ii) the cross-talk between inflammation
in depression and cardiovascular disease , (iii) the involvement of microbiota in the etiopathogenesis of mental illness , (iv)
the relationship between lithium intake and cancer proliferation  and (v) the applicability of targeting GSK-3B for several incurable neuropsychiatric
It is evident that science reached a time where scientists and clinicians are combining strengths to better comprehend the molecular basis
of pharmacological treatments to study the diseases as they occur; in combination, and not isolated. In this new era of technology and information,
combining forces in a multidisciplinary environment to understand the pathological basis will only improve the treatment options and
the quality of life of patients with psychiatric disorders.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) leading to kidney failure is becoming a global public health
problem. Acute kidney injury (AKI) is also a major kidney disease characterized by a rapid
decline of renal function. Drug-induced nephrotoxicity is a contributing factor to AKI in
19-25% of critically ill patients. Drugs exert their toxic effects to cause nephrotoxicity by one
or more common pathogenic mechanisms. The progressive loss of kidney function associated
with CKD not only leads to impaired renal excretion of numerous drugs and their metabolites
in the kidneys, but also alters the non-renal disposition of moieties that are extensively
metabolized by the liver. Various alterations in activity of metabolic enzyme system have
been reported in CKD models, for example, reductions in expression and activity of hepatic
cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes including CYP3A1, CYP3A2, CYP2C11, and other
enzymes such as N-acetyltransferases. What’s more, other mechanisms such as the
dysregulation of drug transporter systems are involved in decreasing the clearance of drugs in
renal failure. With the development of renal failure, the renal secretion of organic ions
mediated by organic anion transporters (OATs) and organic cation transporters (OCTs) is
decreased. Some organic anionic uremic toxins may directly inhibit the renal excretion of
various drugs and endogenous organic acids by competitively inhibiting OATs.
The objective of this mini-thematic issue is to report recent studies about most common
mechanisms of drug-induced nephrotoxicity and prevention strategies, the alterations of drug
enzymes and transporters in the kidney and liver in renal failure, the potential model systems
to predict drug efficacy, interactions, and drug-induced kidney injury in drug development.
Neurological disorders cover a wide range of diseases; suffering patients all around the world. A study in UK shows about six percent of
the population involved with neurological disorders . Also, investigations stated that the imposed cost of these disorders is an important
challenge for European societies . Therefore, there are too many investigations to find new medical approaches and remedies to treat or
manage neurological disorders. Natural products as well as complementary and alternative therapies are as the sources to find such therapeutics
that are going to be more popular in the society. There are too many traditional and complementary systems of medicine, mostly with
historical roots in ancient eras like Chinese medicine, Persian medicine, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, etc.  Alongside raising the popularity of
using natural and traditional medications, interest of researchers to evaluate their efficacy and safety is going to be raise up. On the other
hand, this popularity causes some concerns including the safety and probable interactions between these remedies with common drugs. Therefore,
investigations to find the efficacy and safety of them with the help of accepted and academic methods are too important.
World Health Organization (WHO) approves and encourages traditional therapies integrated with current and conventional medicine. It
means using the opportunities in both medical systems, traditional and conventional medicines . It is important to integrate Traditional and
Complementary Medicine (T&CM) approaches to current medical systems. It is not only necessary for using T&CM opportunities to manage
and treat neurological disorders and decrease the costs of treatment, but to find any probable side effects and interactions with such remedies.
Therefore, in the first step, it needs scientific investigations to find T&CM drugs’ efficacy, safety and toxicology and then, in the next step
training the neurologists and pharmacists is too important.
Therefore, this thematic issue of Current Drug Metabolism aims to publish some valuable reviews on the principles, suggestions, efficacy
of drugs and also herb-drug interactions of some types of T&CM systems in some neurological disorders; providing scientific data and discussions
for medical practitioners, pharmacists and researchers in this field.
This thematic issue will provide a platform to share comprehensive information on advances and recent trends
in various prophylactic and therapeutic regimens to effectively combat various diseases and other health
problems, both infectious and non-infectious posing challenge to the humans and their companion animals
(livestock & poultry). It will focus mainly on the novel, emerging and valuable alternate / complementary
frontier therapeutic options especially in the era of emerging and rising drug resistance in microbial pathogens
and increasing health disorders and conditions of high concerns due to changing life style and other various
predisposing factors. Advances and interdisciplinary approaches of biotechnology, molecular biology,
genetics, cellular immunology, immunomics, proteomics, pharmacology, bioinformatics, nanotechnology and
others for designing and developing newer and effective therapeutic modules would be given priority. These
will include phages, enzybiotics, apoptins, cytokines, monoclonal antibodies, egg yolk antibodies, TLR, stem
cells, si-RNA, nanomedicines, nutritional immunomodulation, probiotics, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and
herbal medicines, which could play promising role in curbing evolving pathogenic threats by their potent
antimicrobial potential, treating non-infectious diseases, metabolic disorders, cancers as well as various
general health problems. Other potential candidates being explored for targeting development of valuable
medicines, drugs, pharmaceuticals, immunotherapeutics, antitoxins, tissue growth factors, gene therapy,
regenerative medicines, therapeutic biologics, modern vaccines and vaccines based therapies will also be
considered. Trends and advances in pharmacogenomics aided drug development and therapeutics,
pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and metabolism of effective/newer drugs and medicines, upcoming
drug designing and novel drug delivery methods will also be given due attention. The compilation will be
useful for medical and veterinary professionals, clinicians, researchers, students/scholars, public health
experts, animal producers, and pharmaceutical industry in designing and adapting effective and safer
therapeutics from clinics to the laboratory for countering important diseases. This thematic issue will accept
submissions of comprehensive review papers on above mentioned topics / theme with their basics, modes of
action, medicinal values, beneficial health applications, modern trends and advances, perspectives, which
could lead to designing and development of effective therapeutics, drugs/medicines, nutraceuticals and
pharmaceuticals in the area of biomedicine with an aim to safeguard health of both humans and animals in a
Recent developments in nanomaterials for the therapy of deadliest diseases have gained significant interest because of their
advantages, such as reduction in systemic toxicity, easy surface functionalization with passivation and targeting moieties, and
enhanced drug accumulation in specific tissue. Nanomedicines and nanomaterials can be administrated by different strategies,
including oral, local, intravenous, and transarterial administration, which are the underlying determinants for their therapeutic
efficacy, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. In order to optimize the therapeutic outcomes, careful design and synthesis
of nanomedicines are guided by the administration strategies. It requires a broad-system view for innovative nanomaterials and
their clinical applications. The aim and scope of the issue is to introduce Current Drug Metabolism readers to this important
topic of efficacy, toxicology, and PK/PD of nanomedicine administrated by different strategies.
I would like to thank Editor-in-Chief, Michael Sinz, for his support and all authors for their contribution to this special
issue. I am grateful for all peer reviewers’ time and expertise, which help to improve quality of articles. I also thank Maryam
Shaikh for the excellent coordination in publication process.
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