Use of Short-term Transcriptional Profiles to Assess the Long-term Cancer-Related Safety of Environmental and Industrial Chemicals
ABSTRACT The process for evaluating chemical safety is inefficient, costly, and animal intensive. There is growing consensus that the current process of safety testing needs to be significantly altered to improve efficiency and reduce the number of untested chemicals. In this study, the use of short-term gene expression profiles was evaluated for predicting the increased incidence of mouse lung tumors. Animals were exposed to a total of 26 diverse chemicals with matched vehicle controls over a period of 3 years. Upon completion, significant batch-related effects were observed. Adjustment for batch effects significantly improved the ability to predict increased lung tumor incidence. For the best statistical model, the estimated predictive accuracy under honest fivefold cross-validation was 79.3% with a sensitivity and specificity of 71.4 and 86.3%, respectively. A learning curve analysis demonstrated that gains in model performance reached a plateau at 25 chemicals, indicating that the size of current data set was sufficient to provide a robust classifier. The classification results showed that a small subset of chemicals contributed disproportionately to the misclassification rate. For these chemicals, the misclassification was more closely associated with genotoxicity status than with efficacy in the original bioassay. Statistical models were also used to predict dose-response increases in tumor incidence for methylene chloride and naphthalene. The average posterior probabilities for the top models matched the results from the bioassay for methylene chloride. For naphthalene, the average posterior probabilities for the top models overpredicted the tumor response, but the variability in predictions was significantly higher. The study provides both a set of gene expression biomarkers for predicting chemically induced mouse lung tumors and a broad assessment of important experimental and analysis criteria for developing microarray-based predictors of safety-related end points.
SourceAvailable from: Mirjam Luijten[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: There is a high need to improve the assessment of, especially non-genotoxic, carcinogenic features of chemicals. We therefore explored a toxicogenomics-based approach using genome-wide microRNA and mRNA expression profiles upon short-term exposure in mice. For this, wild-type mice were exposed for seven days to three different classes of chemicals, i.e., four genotoxic carcinogens (GTXC), seven non-genotoxic carcinogens (NGTXC), and five toxic non-carcinogens. Hepatic expression patterns of mRNA and microRNA transcripts were determined after exposure and used to assess the discriminative power of the in vivo transcriptome for GTXC and NGTXC. A final classifier set, discriminative for GTXC and NGTXC, was generated from the transcriptomic data using a tiered approach. This appeared to be a valid approach, since the predictive power of the final classifier set in three different classifier algorithms was very high for the original training set of chemicals. Subsequent validation in an additional set of chemicals revealed that the predictive power for GTXC remained high, in contrast to NGTXC, which appeared to be more troublesome. Our study demonstrated that the in vivo microRNA-ome has less discriminative power to correctly identify (non-)genotoxic carcinogen classes. The results generally indicate that single mRNA transcripts do have the potential to be applied in risk assessment, but that additional (genomic) strategies are necessary to correctly predict the non-genotoxic carcinogenic potential of a chemical.Archives of Toxicology 01/2014; 88(4). DOI:10.1007/s00204-013-1189-z · 5.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Several groups have employed genomic data from subchronic chemical toxicity studies in rodents (90 days) to derive gene-centric predictors of chronic toxicity and carcinogenicity. Genes are annotated to belong to biological processes or molecular pathways that are mechanistically well understood and are described in public databases. To develop a molecular pathway-based prediction model of long term hepatocarcinogenicity using 90-day gene expression data and to evaluate the performance of this model with respect to both intra-species, dose-dependent and cross-species predictions. Genome-wide hepatic mRNA expression was retrospectively measured in B6C3F1 mice following subchronic exposure to twenty-six (26) chemicals (10 were positive, 2 equivocal and 14 negative for liver tumors) previously studied by the US National Toxicology Program. Using these data, a pathway-based predictor model for long-term liver cancer risk was derived using random forests. The prediction model was independently validated on test sets associated with liver cancer risk obtained from mice, rats and humans. Using 5-fold cross validation, the developed prediction model had reasonable predictive performance with the area under receiver-operator curve (AUC) equal to 0.66. The developed prediction model was then used to extrapolate the results to data associated with rat and human liver cancer. The extrapolated model worked well for both extrapolated species (AUC value of 0.74 for rats and 0.91 for humans). The prediction models implied a balanced interplay between all pathway responses leading to carcinogenicity predictions. Pathway-based prediction models estimated from sub-chronic data hold promise for predicting long-term carcinogenicity and also for its ability to extrapolate results across multiple species.PLoS ONE 05/2013; 8(5):e63308. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0063308 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: High throughput transcriptomics profiles such as those generated using microarrays have been useful in identifying biomarkers for different classification and toxicity prediction purposes. Here, we investigated the use of microarrays to predict chemical toxicants and their possible mechanisms of action. In this study, in vitro cultures of primary rat hepatocytes were exposed to 105 chemicals and vehicle controls, representing 14 compound classes. We comprehensively compared various normalization of gene expression profiles, feature selection and classification algorithms for the classification of these 105 chemicals into14 compound classes. We found that normalization had little effect on the averaged classification accuracy. Two support vector machine (SVM) methods, LibSVM and sequential minimal optimization, had better classification performance than other methods. SVM recursive feature selection (SVM-RFE) had the highest overfitting rate when an independent dataset was used for a prediction. Therefore, we developed a new feature selection algorithm called gradient method that had a relatively high training classification as well as prediction accuracy with the lowest overfitting rate of the methods tested. Analysis of biomarkers that distinguished the 14 classes of compounds identified a group of genes principally involved in cell cycle function that were significantly downregulated by metal and inflammatory compounds, but were induced by anti-microbial, cancer related drugs, pesticides, and PXR mediators. Our results indicate that using microarrays and a supervised machine learning approach to predict chemical toxicants, their potential toxicity and mechanisms of action is practical and efficient. Choosing the right feature and classification algorithms for this multiple category classification and prediction is critical.BMC Genomics 03/2014; 15(1):248. DOI:10.1186/1471-2164-15-248 · 4.04 Impact Factor