Actionable pathways: interactive discovery of therapeutic targets using signaling pathway models

Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 Jul 8;44(W1):W212-6. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkw369. Epub 2016 May 2.


The discovery of actionable targets is crucial for targeted therapies and is also a constituent part of the drug discovery process. The success of an intervention over a target depends critically on its contribution, within the complex network of gene interactions, to the cellular processes responsible for disease progression or therapeutic response. Here we present PathAct, a web server that predicts the effect that interventions over genes (inhibitions or activations that simulate knock-outs, drug treatments or over-expressions) can have over signal transmission within signaling pathways and, ultimately, over the cell functionalities triggered by them. PathAct implements an advanced graphical interface that provides a unique interactive working environment in which the suitability of potentially actionable genes, that could eventually become drug targets for personalized or individualized therapies, can be easily tested. The PathAct tool can be found at:

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Computer Graphics
  • Computer Simulation
  • Drug Discovery
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects*
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Internet
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / drug effects
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / genetics
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / genetics
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / prevention & control*
  • Niacinamide / analogs & derivatives
  • Niacinamide / therapeutic use
  • Phenylurea Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Software*
  • Sorafenib


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Phenylurea Compounds
  • Niacinamide
  • Sorafenib