[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Semanticscience Integrated Ontology (SIO) is an ontology to facilitate biomedical knowledge discovery. SIO features a simple upper level comprised of essential types and relations for the rich description of arbitrary (real, hypothesized, virtual, fictional) objects, processes and their attributes. SIO specifies simple design patterns to describe and associate qualities, capabilities, functions, quantities, and informational entities including textual, geometrical, and mathematical entities, and provides specific extensions in the domains of chemistry, biology, biochemistry, and bioinformatics. SIO provides an ontological foundation for the Bio2RDF linked data for the life sciences project and is used for semantic integration and discovery for SADI-based semantic web services. SIO is freely available to all users under a creative commons by attribution license. See website for further information: http://sio.semanticscience.org .
Journal of biomedical semantics. 03/2014; 5(1):14.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bisphenol A (BPA) is used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins for baby bottles, liners of canned food and many other consumer products. Previously, BPA has been shown to reduce the activity of several antioxidant enzymes, which may contribute to oxidative stress. However, the underlying mechanism of the BPA-mediated effect upon antioxidant enzyme activity is unknown. Antioxidant and phase II metabolizing enzymes protect cells from oxidative stress and are transcriptionally activated by Nrf1 and Nrf2 factors through their cis-regulatory antioxidant response elements (AREs). In this work, we have assessed the effect of BPA on the Nrf1/2-ARE pathway in cultured human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells. Surprisingly, glutathione and reactive oxygen species (ROS) assays revealed that BPA application created a more reduced intracellular environment in cultured HEK 293 cells. Furthermore, BPA increased the transactivation activity of ectopic Nrf1 and Nrf2 and increased the expression of ARE-target genes ho-1 and nqo1 at high (100-200 μM) BPA concentrations only. Our study suggests that BPA activates the Nrf1/2-ARE pathway at high (>10 μM) micromolar concentrations.
Chemical Research in Toxicology 01/2013; · 3.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The advent of high-throughput experimentation in biochemistry has led to the generation of vast amounts of chemical data, necessitating the development of novel analysis, characterization, and cataloguing techniques and tools. Recently, a movement to publically release such data has advanced biochemical structure-activity relationship research, while providing new challenges, the biggest being the curation, annotation, and classification of this information to facilitate useful biochemical pattern analysis. Unfortunately, the human resources currently employed by the organizations supporting these efforts (e.g. ChEBI) are expanding linearly, while new useful scientific information is being released in a seemingly exponential fashion. Compounding this, currently existing chemical classification and annotation systems are not amenable to automated classification, formal and transparent chemical class definition axiomatization, facile class redefinition, or novel class integration, thus further limiting chemical ontology growth by necessitating human involvement in curation. Clearly, there is a need for the automation of this process, especially for novel chemical entities of biological interest.
To address this, we present a formal framework based on Semantic Web technologies for the automatic design of chemical ontology which can be used for automated classification of novel entities. We demonstrate the automatic self-assembly of a structure-based chemical ontology based on 60 MeSH and 40 ChEBI chemical classes. This ontology is then used to classify 200 compounds with an accuracy of 92.7%. We extend these structure-based classes with molecular feature information and demonstrate the utility of our framework for classification of functionally relevant chemicals. Finally, we discuss an iterative approach that we envision for future biochemical ontology development.
We conclude that the proposed methodology can ease the burden of chemical data annotators and dramatically increase their productivity. We anticipate that the use of formal logic in our proposed framework will make chemical classification criteria more transparent to humans and machines alike and will thus facilitate predictive and integrative bioactivity model development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of high-throughput experimentation has led to astronomical growth in biologically relevant lipids and lipid derivatives identified, screened, and deposited in numerous online databases. Unfortunately, efforts to annotate, classify, and analyze these chemical entities have largely remained in the hands of human curators using manual or semi-automated protocols, leaving many novel entities unclassified. Since chemical function is often closely linked to structure, accurate structure-based classification and annotation of chemical entities is imperative to understanding their functionality.
As part of an exploratory study, we have investigated the utility of semantic web technologies in automated chemical classification and annotation of lipids. Our prototype framework consists of two components: an ontology and a set of federated web services that operate upon it. The formal lipid ontology we use here extends a part of the LiPrO ontology and draws on the lipid hierarchy in the LIPID MAPS database, as well as literature-derived knowledge. The federated semantic web services that operate upon this ontology are deployed within the Semantic Annotation, Discovery, and Integration (SADI) framework. Structure-based lipid classification is enacted by two core services. Firstly, a structural annotation service detects and enumerates relevant functional groups for a specified chemical structure. A second service reasons over lipid ontology class descriptions using the attributes obtained from the annotation service and identifies the appropriate lipid classification. We extend the utility of these core services by combining them with additional SADI services that retrieve associations between lipids and proteins and identify publications related to specified lipid types. We analyze the performance of SADI-enabled eicosanoid classification relative to the LIPID MAPS classification and reflect on the contribution of our integrative methodology in the context of high-throughput lipidomics.
Our prototype framework is capable of accurate automated classification of lipids and facile integration of lipid class information with additional data obtained with SADI web services. The potential of programming-free integration of external web services through the SADI framework offers an opportunity for development of powerful novel applications in lipidomics. We conclude that semantic web technologies can provide an accurate and versatile means of classification and annotation of lipids.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cheminformatics is the application of informatics techniques to solve chemical problems in silico. There are many areas in biology where cheminformatics plays an important role in computational research, including metabolism, proteomics, and systems biology. One critical aspect in the application of cheminformatics in these fields is the accurate exchange of data, which is increasingly accomplished through the use of ontologies. Ontologies are formal representations of objects and their properties using a logic-based ontology language. Many such ontologies are currently being developed to represent objects across all the domains of science. Ontologies enable the definition, classification, and support for querying objects in a particular domain, enabling intelligent computer applications to be built which support the work of scientists both within the domain of interest and across interrelated neighbouring domains. Modern chemical research relies on computational techniques to filter and organise data to maximise research productivity. The objects which are manipulated in these algorithms and procedures, as well as the algorithms and procedures themselves, enjoy a kind of virtual life within computers. We will call these information entities. Here, we describe our work in developing an ontology of chemical information entities, with a primary focus on data-driven research and the integration of calculated properties (descriptors) of chemical entities within a semantic web context. Our ontology distinguishes algorithmic, or procedural information from declarative, or factual information, and renders of particular importance the annotation of provenance to calculated data. The Chemical Information Ontology is being developed as an open collaborative project. More details, together with a downloadable OWL file, are available at http://code.google.com/p/semanticchemistry/ (license: CC-BY-SA).
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(10):e25513. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The diversity and the largely independent nature of chemical research efforts over the past half century are, most likely, the major contributors to the current poor state of chemical computational resource and database interoperability. While open software for chemical format interconversion and database entry cross-linking have partially addressed database interoperability, computational resource integration is hindered by the great diversity of software interfaces, languages, access methods, and platforms, among others. This has, in turn, translated into limited reproducibility of computational experiments and the need for application-specific computational workflow construction and semi-automated enactment by human experts, especially where emerging interdisciplinary fields, such as systems chemistry, are pursued. Fortunately, the advent of the Semantic Web, and the very recent introduction of RESTful Semantic Web Services (SWS) may present an opportunity to integrate all of the existing computational and database resources in chemistry into a machine-understandable, unified system that draws on the entirety of the Semantic Web.
We have created a prototype framework of Semantic Automated Discovery and Integration (SADI) framework SWS that exposes the QSAR descriptor functionality of the Chemistry Development Kit. Since each of these services has formal ontology-defined input and output classes, and each service consumes and produces RDF graphs, clients can automatically reason about the services and available reference information necessary to complete a given overall computational task specified through a simple SPARQL query. We demonstrate this capability by carrying out QSAR analysis backed by a simple formal ontology to determine whether a given molecule is drug-like. Further, we discuss parameter-based control over the execution of SADI SWS. Finally, we demonstrate the value of computational resource envelopment as SADI services through service reuse and ease of integration of computational functionality into formal ontologies.
The work we present here may trigger a major paradigm shift in the distribution of computational resources in chemistry. We conclude that envelopment of chemical computational resources as SADI SWS facilitates interdisciplinary research by enabling the definition of computational problems in terms of ontologies and formal logical statements instead of cumbersome and application-specific tasks and workflows.
Journal of Cheminformatics 01/2011; 3:16. · 3.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over the past several centuries, chemistry has permeated virtually every facet of human lifestyle, enriching fields as diverse as medicine, agriculture, manufacturing, warfare, and electronics, among numerous others. Unfortunately, application-specific, incompatible chemical information formats and representation strategies have emerged as a result of such diverse adoption of chemistry. Although a number of efforts have been dedicated to unifying the computational representation of chemical information, disparities between the various chemical databases still persist and stand in the way of cross-domain, interdisciplinary investigations. Through a common syntax and formal semantics, Semantic Web technology offers the ability to accurately represent, integrate, reason about and query across diverse chemical information.
Here we specify and implement the Chemical Entity Semantic Specification (CHESS) for the representation of polyatomic chemical entities, their substructures, bonds, atoms, and reactions using Semantic Web technologies. CHESS provides means to capture aspects of their corresponding chemical descriptors, connectivity, functional composition, and geometric structure while specifying mechanisms for data provenance. We demonstrate that using our readily extensible specification, it is possible to efficiently integrate multiple disparate chemical data sources, while retaining appropriate correspondence of chemical descriptors, with very little additional effort. We demonstrate the impact of some of our representational decisions on the performance of chemically-aware knowledgebase searching and rudimentary reaction candidate selection. Finally, we provide access to the tools necessary to carry out chemical entity encoding in CHESS, along with a sample knowledgebase.
By harnessing the power of Semantic Web technologies with CHESS, it is possible to provide a means of facile cross-domain chemical knowledge integration with full preservation of data correspondence and provenance. Our representation builds on existing cheminformatics technologies and, by the virtue of RDF specification, remains flexible and amenable to application- and domain-specific annotations without compromising chemical data integration. We conclude that the adoption of a consistent and semantically-enabled chemical specification is imperative for surviving the coming chemical data deluge and supporting systems science research.
Journal of Cheminformatics 01/2011; 3(1):20. · 3.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper we examine a series of hydrocarbons with structural features which cause a weakening of the C-H bond. We use theoretical calculations to explore whether the carbon-centered radicals R(*) which are created after breaking the bond can be stabilized enough so that they resist the addition of molecular oxygen, i.e. where the reaction R(*) + O(2) --> ROO(*) becomes energetically unfavorable. Calculations using a B3LYP-based method provide accurate bond dissociation enthalpies (BDEs) for R-H and R-OO(*) bonds, as well as Gibbs free energy changes for the addition reaction. The data show strong correlations between R-OO(*) and R-H BDEs for a wide variety of structures. They also show an equally strong correlation between the R-OO(*) BDE and the unpaired spin density at the site of addition. Using these data we examine the major functional group categories proposed in several experimental studies, and assess their relative importance. Finally, we combine effects to try to optimize resistance to the addition of molecular oxygen, an important factor in designing carbon-based antioxidants.
Journal of Computational Chemistry 10/2008; 30(7):1016-26. · 3.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The anti-tumour activities of many plant phenolics at high concentrations (>100 micromol/L) suggest their potential use as dietary supplements in cancer chemoprevention and cancer chemotherapy. However, it is not clear what impact phenolic compounds have at the physiological concentrations obtained through consumption of high phenolic diets on neoplastic cells. In the present study, 54 naturally occurring phenolics were evaluated at physiologically relevant concentrations for their capacity to alter PC12 cell viability in response to serum deprivation, the chemotherepeutic agent etoposide, and the apoptogen C2-ceramide. Surprisingly, novel mitogenic, cytoprotective, and antiapoptotic activities were detected. Quantitative structure-activity relationship modelling indicated that many of these activities could be predicted by compound lipophilicity, steric bulk, and (or) antioxidant capacity, with the exception of inhibition of ceramide-induced apoptosis. Where quantitative structure-activity relationship analysis was insufficient, biochemical assessment demonstrated that the benzoate orsellinic acid blocked downstream caspase-12 activation following ceramide challenge. These findings demonstrate substantive mitogenic, cytoprotective, and antiapoptotic biological activities of plant phenolics on neoplastic cells at physiologically relevant dietary concentrations that should be considered in chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic strategies.
Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 12/2007; 85(11):1124-38. · 1.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: [reaction: see text] Rate constants for hydrogen-atom transfer (HAT) from bilirubin dimethyl ester (BRDE) and biliverdin dimethyl ester (BVDE) to peroxyl radicals during inhibited autoxidation of styrene initiated by azo-bisisobutyronitrile (AIBN) were k(inh)(BRDE) = 22.5 x 10(4) and k(inh)(BVDE) = 10.2 x 10(4) M(-1) s(-1), and the stoichiometric factors (n) were 2.0 and 2.7, respectively. A synthetic tetrapyrrole (bis(dipyrromethene)) containing the alpha-central (2,2') CH2 linkage gave k(inh) = 39.9 x 10(4) M(-1) s(-1) and n = 2.3, whereas the beta-linked (3,3') isomer was not an active antioxidant. Several dipyrrinones were synthesized as mimics of the two outer heterocyclic rings of bilirubin and biliverdin. The dipyrrinones containing N-H groups in each ring were active antioxidants, whereas those lacking two such "free" N-H groups, such as N-CH3 dipyrrinones and dipyrromethenes, did not exhibit antioxidant activity. Overall, the relative k(inh) values compared to those of phenolic antioxidants, 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methoxyphenol (DBHA) and 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol (BHT), were 2,2'-bis(dipyrromethene) > BRDE > DBHA > dipyrrinones > BVDE > BHT. This general trend in antioxidant activities was also observed for the inhibited autoxidation of cumene initiated by AIBN. Chemical calculations of the N-H bond dissociation enthalpies (BDEs) of the typical structures support a HAT mechanism from N-H groups to trap peroxyl radicals. Intramolecular hydrogen bonding of intermediate nitrogen radicals has a major influence on the antioxidant activities of all compounds studied. Indeed, chemical calculations showed that the initial nitrogen radical from a dipyrrinone is stabilized by 9.0 kcal/mol because of H-bonding between the N-H remaining on one ring and the ground-state pyrrolyl radical of the adjacent ring in the natural zusammen structure. The calculated minimum structure of bilirubin shows strong intramolecular H-bonding of the N-H groups with carbonyl groups resulting in the known "ridge-tile" structure which is not an active HAT antioxidant. The calculated minimum structure of biliverdin is planar. BRDE is readily converted into BVDE by reaction with the electron-deficient DPPH* radical under argon in chlorobenzene. An electron-transfer mechanism is proposed for the initiating step in this reaction, and this is supported by the relatively low ionizing potential of a model dipyrrole representing the two central rings of bilirubin.
The Journal of Organic Chemistry 01/2006; 71(1):22-30. · 4.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We consider the cytotoxicity and the protection against oxidative stress for members of the naphthalenediol family and the known antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Compounds include the 1,2-naphthalenediol (1,2-ND), 1,4-ND, 2,3-ND, 1,8-ND, and 1,4-dipropyl-2,3-naphthalenediol (DPND). The cell line is an adherent clone of rat pheochromocytoma (PC12-AC). Oxidative stress was induced by the peroxyl radical generator AAPH. The relative order of cytotoxicity was 1,4-ND > 1,2-ND > DPND > 2,3-ND > 1,8-ND > EGCG, with EC(50)'s of 15, 40, 160, >250, >250, >250 muM, respectively. Despite their high toxicity, both 1,4-ND and 1,2-ND showed narrow zones of protective behavior whereas DPND, 2,3-ND and 1,8-ND and especially EGCG showed an extended protective range. The total protection obtained for the combination of cells/oxidative stressor/protective compounds (PC12-AC/AAPH/naphthalenediols) was defined by an integrated measure, the cytoprotective area (CPA). We relate the observed cytotoxicity and CPA to the different electronic structures of the naphthalenediols, characterized by the first and second bond dissociation enthalpies and the pK(a)'s for parent (diol) and semiquinone. Since the 2,3- and 1,8-naphthalenediols do not form quinones, their cytotoxicity is much lower than for the compounds which do. Thus selected members of the naphthalenediol family show promise as antioxidants.
Free Radical Biology and Medicine 12/2005; 39(10):1368-77. · 5.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ortho-Hydroxyphenols (catechols) form a common structural unit in naturally occurring antioxidants such as polyphenols. They also show pro-oxidant characteristics which depend on their particular structure. Here we examined the acetylated versions of three catechols and a naphthalenediol for cytotoxicity to adrenal PC12-AC cells. We found that the three catechols H1 (a p-methoxycatechol), H2 (a catechol analog of alpha-tocopherol), and H4 (a dioxymethylene-substituted catechol) strongly upregulate glutathione (GSH) in 24 h, whereas 1,4-dipropyl-2,3-naphthalenediol (DPND) does not. Upregulation of GSH is primarily caused by oxidative stress in the form of hydrogen peroxide generation, and both GSH upregulation and the rate of H(2)O(2) generation correlate well with the cytotoxicity. The major source of H(2)O(2) is autoxidation in the extracellular space, which results from transport of the (deacetylated) hydroquinone form outside the cell, rather than internal redox cycling. DPND is much less cytotoxic than any of the catechols. We show that this is because it cannot form a naphthoquinone due to the energy penalty associated with the loss of aromaticity in the benzene ring adjacent to the diol functional group. The relevance of these results to the design of antioxidants is discussed.
Free Radical Biology and Medicine 03/2005; 38(3):344-55. · 5.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The paper describes a density functional theory methodology using the B3LYP functional, with small correction terms introduced for open shell doublet states and closed-shell anions. The procedure is based on a B3LYP/6-31G(d) geometry optimization and frequency determination, followed by (RO)B3LYP/6-311 + G(2d,2p) single point energy calculations. Using a correction term of +8.368 kJ mol-1 for (doublet) radicals and + 4.184 kJ mol-1 for (closed shell) anions, close agreement is obtained with experiment (i.e. within 10 kJ mol-1) for a series of molecular properties. These include bond dissociation enthalpies for X-H, where X = functional groups containing C, N, O, F, S, and X-Y, where X and Y are binary combinations of the same five heavy atoms plus Si and Cl, ionization potentials, electron and proton affinities, and gas-phase acidities. Using locally dense basis sets the approach can be extended to bond dissociation enthalpy calculations of large molecules with only a small increase in error. Using the same approach and popular solvation models allows a good starting point for reaction properties in solution. The approach is termed 'niversal' because by applying these corrections there is no need to change functionals and/or basis sets to obtain accurate results for different molecular properties, unlike some of the work reported previously.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We are attempting to develop novel synthetic antioxidants aimed at retarding the effects of free-radical induced cell damage. In this paper we discuss the design strategy and report the synthesis of seven novel antioxidants, including six catechols and a benzylic phenol. The bond dissociation enthalpy (BDE) for the most active (weakest) OH bond in each molecule was calculated by theoretical methods, as well as the BDE for the semiquinone radical. Reaction rates with the nitrogen-centered free radical DPPH(*) were measured in ethyl acetate. The log of k(DPPH) for bimolecular reaction correlated well with the primary BDE. The correlation between rate constants and calculated BDEs shows that the BDE is a good predictor of antioxidant activity with DPPH(*), suggesting that our design criteria are useful and that these compounds should undergo further testing in cell cultures and in animal models.
The Journal of Organic Chemistry 10/2003; 68(18):7023-32. · 4.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Industrial and regulatory evaluation of chemical toxicity is often done via statistical analysis of chemical features focusing on chemical structure and function. One popular method to characterize chemical toxicity involves the development of decision trees based on large sets of empirical toxicological data where chemicals are assigned toxicity or activity classes. In this paper, we describe the representation of decision trees as OWL ontologies that can be used to carry out initial evaluation of toxicity and activity of prospective chemical products. We further discuss how trees derived from different datasets can be semantically compared by examining the logical equivalence of the toxicity and bioactivity classes in different trees. Taken together, this initial work forms the basis for continued investigation into OWL-driven semantic framework for toxicity evaluation.