This table has been assembled based upon our own understanding of the definitions of these terms, and we have provided citations to support these definitions. Many of the resources we curate do not provide their own definitions of these terms, and so we encourage users of DGIdb to use these definitions as a starting point, and review interactions of interest from their primary sources. If you have any questions or comments regarding these definitions or the use of DGIdb, please contact us!
Interaction Type Sources Using This Type Description Directionality* Reference
activator ChemblInteractions, TALC An activator interaction is when a drug activates a biological response from a target, although the mechanism by which it does so may not be understood. activating DrugBank examples: pubmed:12070353
adduct An adduct interaction is when a drug-protein adduct forms by the covalent binding of electrophilic drugs or their reactive metabolite(s) to a target protein. N/A pubmed:16199025
agonist ChemblInteractions, TALC An agonist interaction occurs when a drug binds to a target receptor and activates the receptor to produce a biological response. activating Wikipedia - Agonist
allosteric modulator An allosteric modulator interaction occurs when drugs exert their effects on their protein targets via a different binding site than the natural (orthosteric) ligand site. N/A pubmed:24699297
antagonist ChemblInteractions, TALC An antagonist interaction occurs when a drug blocks or dampens agonist-mediated responses rather than provoking a biological response itself upon binding to a target receptor. inhibitory Wikipedia - Receptor Antagonist
antibody CancerCommons, MyCancerGenome, TALC An antibody interaction occurs when an antibody drug specifically binds the target molecule. inhibitory Wikipedia - Antibody
antisense oligonucleotide TALC An antisense oligonucleotide interaction occurs when a complementary RNA drug binds to an mRNA target to inhibit translation by physically obstructing the mRNA translation machinery. inhibitory pubmed:10228554
binder A binder interaction has drugs physically binding to their target. N/A DrugBank examples: pubmed:12388666 pubmed:7584665 pubmed:14507470
blocker ChemblInteractions Antagonist interactions are sometimes referred to as blocker interactions; examples include alpha blockers, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers. inhibitory Wikipedia - Receptor Antagonist
chaperone Pharmacological chaperone interactions occur when substrates or modulators directly bind to a partially folded biosynthetic intermediate to stabilise the protein and allow it to complete the folding process to yield a functional protein. activating pubmed:17597553
cleavage Cleavage interactions take place when the drug promotes degeneration of the target protein through cleaving of the peptide bonds. inhibitory DrugBank examples: pubmed:10666203
cofactor A cofactor is a drug that is required for a target protein's biological activity. activating Wikipedia - Cofactor
inducer TALC In inducer interactions, the drug increases the activity of its target enzyme. activating Wikipedia - Enzyme Inducer
inhibitor CancerCommons, ChemblInteractions, DTC, MyCancerGenome, MyCancerGenomeClinicalTrial, TALC In inhibitor interactions, the drug binds to a target and decreases its expression or activity. Most interactions of this class are enzyme inhibitors, which bind an enzyme to reduce enzyme activity. inhibitory Wikipedia - Enzyme Inhibitor
inhibitory allosteric modulator CancerCommons In inhibitory allosteric modulator interactions, also called negative allosteric modulator interactions, the drug will inhibit activity of its target enzyme. inhibitory pubmed:24699297
inverse agonist ChemblInteractions An inverse agonist interaction occurs when a drug binds to the same target as an agonist, but induces a pharmacological response opposite to that of the agonist. inhibitory Wikipedia - Inverse Agonist
ligand In ligand interactions, a drug forms a complex with its target protein to serve a biological function. N/A Wikipedia - Ligand
modulator ChemblInteractions, TALC In modulator interactions, the drug regulates or changes the activity of its target. In contrast to allosteric modulators, this interaction type may not involve any direct binding to the target. N/A Modulators. Segen's Medical Dictionary. (2011). Retrieved online October 9 2015.
multitarget In multitarget interactions, drugs achieve a physiological effect through simultaneous interaction with multiple gene targets. N/A pubmed:22768266
n/a DGIdb assigns this label to any drug-gene interaction for which the interaction type is not specified by the reporting source. N/A N/A
negative modulator ChemblInteractions In a negative modulator interaction, the drug negatively regulates the amount or activity of its target. In contrast to an inhibitory allosteric modulator, this interaction type may not involve any direct binding to the target. inhibitory Wikipedia - Allosteric Modulator
other/unknown This is a label given by the reporting source to an interaction that doesn't belong to other interaction types, as defined by the reporting source. N/A N/A
partial agonist ChemblInteractions In a partial agonist interaction, a drug will elicit a reduced amplitude functional response at its target receptor, as compared to the response elicited by a full agonist. activating Wikipedia - Receptor Antagonist
partial antagonist In a partial antagonist interaction, a drug will only partially reduce the amplitude of a functional response at its target receptor, as compared to the reduction of response by a full antagonist. inhibitory pubmed:6188923
positive modulator ChemblInteractions In a positive modulator interaction, the drug increases activity of the target enzyme. activating pubmed:24699297
potentiator In a potentiator interaction, the drug enhances the sensitivity of the target to the target's ligands. N/A Wikipedia - Potentiator
product of These "interactions" occur when the target gene produces the endogenous drug. N/A N/A
stimulator In a stimulator interaction, the drug directly or indirectly affects its target, stimulating a physiological response. activating DrugBank examples: pubmed:23318685 pubmed:17148649 pubmed:15955613
substrate Substrates are drugs which are metabolized by the protein they are interacting with. N/A FDA - Table of Substrates, Inhibitors and Inducers
suppressor TALC In a suppressor interaction, the drug directly or indirectly affects its target, suppressing a physiological process. inhibitory DrugBank examples: pubmed:8386571 pubmed:14967460
vaccine TALC In vaccine interactions, the drugs stimulate or restore an immune response to their target. activating NCI - Cancer Vaccines
* Activating – the drug increases the biological activity or expression of a gene target.
  Inhibiting – the drug decreases the biological activity or expression of a gene target