From inadequate prior antidepressants that targeted monoamine neurotransmitter systems emerged the discovery of alternative drugs for depression. For instance, drugs targeted interleukin 6 receptor (IL6R) in inflammatory system. Genomic analysis-based drug repurposing using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) inclined a promising method for several diseases. However, none of the diseases was depression. Thus, we aimed to identify drug repurposing candidates for depression treatment by adopting a genomic-analysis-based approach. The 5885 SNPs obtained from the machine learning approach were annotated using HaploReg v4.1. Five sets of functional annotations were applied to determine the depression risk genes. The STRING database was used to expand the target genes and identify drug candidates from the DrugBank database. We validated the findings using the ClinicalTrial.gov and PubMed databases. Seven genes were observed to be strongly associated with depression (functional annotation score = 4). Interestingly, IL6R was auspicious as a target gene according to the validation outcome. We identified 20 drugs that were undergoing preclinical studies or clinical trials for depression. In addition, we identified sarilumab and satralizumab as drugs that exhibit strong potential for use in the treatment of depression. Our findings indicate that a genomic-analysis-based approach can facilitate the discovery of drugs that can be repurposed for treating depression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1947
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • bioinformatics
  • depression
  • drug repurposing
  • functional annotation
  • genetic
  • genomic analysis
  • genomic variants
  • interleukin 6 receptor
  • sarilumab
  • satralizumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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