KGANSynergy: knowledge graph attention network for drug synergy prediction


Zhang Ge12,Gao Zhijie12,Yan Chaokun12,Wang Jianlin12,Liang Wenjuan12,Luo Junwei3,Luo Huimin12ORCID


1. School of Computer and Information Engineering, Henan University , Jinming Street, 475004 Kaifeng , China

2. Henan Key Laboratory of Big Data Analysis and Processing, Henan University , Jinming Street, 475004 Kaifeng , China

3. College of Computer Science and Technology, Henan Polytechnic University , Shiji Street, 454003 Jiaozuo , China


Abstract Combination therapy is widely used to treat complex diseases, particularly in patients who respond poorly to monotherapy. For example, compared with the use of a single drug, drug combinations can reduce drug resistance and improve the efficacy of cancer treatment. Thus, it is vital for researchers and society to help develop effective combination therapies through clinical trials. However, high-throughput synergistic drug combination screening remains challenging and expensive in the large combinational space, where an array of compounds are used. To solve this problem, various computational approaches have been proposed to effectively identify drug combinations by utilizing drug-related biomedical information. In this study, considering the implications of various types of neighbor information of drug entities, we propose a novel end-to-end Knowledge Graph Attention Network to predict drug synergy (KGANSynergy), which utilizes neighbor information of known drugs/cell lines effectively. KGANSynergy uses knowledge graph (KG) hierarchical propagation to find multi-source neighbor nodes for drugs and cell lines. The knowledge graph attention network is designed to distinguish the importance of neighbors in a KG through a multi-attention mechanism and then aggregate the entity’s neighbor node information to enrich the entity. Finally, the learned drug and cell line embeddings can be utilized to predict the synergy of drug combinations. Experiments demonstrated that our method outperformed several other competing methods, indicating that our method is effective in identifying drug combinations.


National Natural Science Foundation of China

Education Department of Henan Province

Science and Technology Development Plan Project of Henan Province


Oxford University Press (OUP)


Molecular Biology,Information Systems

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