Fibrotic expression profile analysis reveals repurposed drugs with potential anti-fibrotic mode of action

Evangelos Karatzas, Andrea C. Kakouri, George Kolios, Alex Delis, George M. Spyrou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fibrotic diseases cover a spectrum of systemic and organ-specific maladies that affect a large portion of the population, currently without cure. The shared characteristic these diseases feature is their uncontrollable fibrogenesis deemed responsible for the accumulated damage in the susceptible tissues. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, an interstitial lung disease, is one of the most common and studied fibrotic diseases and still remains an active research target. In this study we highlight unique and common (i) genes, (ii) biological pathways and (iii) candidate repurposed drugs among 9 fibrotic diseases. We identify 7 biological pathways involved in all 9 fibrotic diseases as well as pathways unique to some of these diseases. Based on our Drug Repurposing results, we suggest captopril and ibuprofen that both appear to slow the progression of fibrotic diseases according to existing bibliography. We also recommend nafcillin and memantine, which haven't been studied against fibrosis yet, for further wet-lab experimentation. We also observe a group of cardiomyopathy-related pathways that are exclusively highlighted for Oral Submucous Fibrosis. We suggest digoxin to be tested against Oral Submucous Fibrosis, since we observe cardiomyopathy-related pathways implicated in Oral Submucous Fibrosis and there is bibliographic evidence that digoxin may potentially clear myocardial fibrosis. Finally, we establish that Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis shares several involved genes, biological pathways and candidate inhibitingdrugs with Dupuytren's Disease, IgG4-related Disease, Systemic Sclerosis and Cystic Fibrosis. We propose that treatments for these fibrotic diseases should be jointly pursued.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0249687
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Drug Repositioning/methods
  • Fibrosis/drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/drug therapy
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial/drug therapy
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations/administration & dosage
  • Signal Transduction/genetics
  • Transcriptome/genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Fibrotic expression profile analysis reveals repurposed drugs with potential anti-fibrotic mode of action'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this