Data Mining FAERS to Analyze Molecular Targets of Drugs Highly Associated with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

J Med Toxicol. 2015 Jun;11(2):265-73. doi: 10.1007/s13181-015-0472-1.


Drug features that are associated with Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) have not been fully characterized. A molecular target analysis of the drugs associated with SJS in the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) may contribute to mechanistic insights into SJS pathophysiology. The publicly available version of FAERS was analyzed to identify disproportionality among the molecular targets, metabolizing enzymes, and transporters for drugs associated with SJS. The FAERS in-house version was also analyzed for an internal comparison of the drugs most highly associated with SJS. Cyclooxygenases 1 and 2, carbonic anhydrase 2, and sodium channel 2 alpha were identified as disproportionately associated with SJS. Cytochrome P450 (CYPs) 3A4 and 2C9 are disproportionately represented as metabolizing enzymes of the drugs associated with SJS adverse event reports. Multidrug resistance protein 1 (MRP-1), organic anion transporter 1 (OAT1), and PEPT2 were also identified and are highly associated with the transport of these drugs. A detailed review of the molecular targets identifies important roles for these targets in immune response. The association with CYP metabolizing enzymes suggests that reactive metabolites and oxidative stress may have a contributory role. Drug transporters may enhance intracellular tissue concentrations and also have vital physiologic roles that impact keratinocyte proliferation and survival. Data mining FAERS may be used to hypothesize mechanisms for adverse drug events by identifying molecular targets that are highly associated with drug-induced adverse events. The information gained may contribute to systems biology disease models.

MeSH terms

  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism
  • Data Mining / methods*
  • Genes, MHC Class II
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects
  • Software
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome / genetics*
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome / therapy*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System