A robust, mechanistically based in silico structural profiler for hepatic cholestasis

J. W Firman, C. B. Pestana, J. F. Rathman, Mathieu Vinken, C. Yang, M.T.D. Cronin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Owing to the primary role which it holds within metabolism of xenobiotics, the liver stands at heightened risk of exposure to, and injury from, potentially hazardous substances. A principal manifestation of liver dysfunction is cholestasis-the impairment of physiological bile circulation from its point of origin within the organ to the site of action in the small intestine. The capacity for early identification of compounds liable to exert cholestatic effects is of particular utility within the field of pharmaceutical development, where contribution toward candidate attrition is great. Shortcomings associated with the present in vitro methodologies forecasting cholestasis render their predictivity questionable, permitting scope for the adoption of computational toxicology techniques. As such, the intention of this study has been to construct an in silico profiler, founded upon clinical data, highlighting structural motifs most reliably associated with the end point. Drawing upon a list of >1500 small molecular drugs, compiled and annotated by Kotsampasakou, E. and Ecker, G. F. (J. Chem. Inf. Model. 2017, 57, 608-615), we have formulated a series of 15 structural alerts. These describe fragments intrinsic within distinct pharmaceutical classes including psychoactive tricyclics, β-lactam antimicrobials, and estrogenic/androgenic steroids. Description of the coverage and selectivity of each are provided, alongside consideration of the underlying reactive mechanisms and relevant structure-activity concerns. Provision of mechanistic anchoring ensures that potential exists for framing within the adverse outcome pathway paradigm-the chemistry conveyed through the alert, in particular enabling rationalization at the level of the molecular initiating event.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-655
Number of pages15
JournalChemical Research in Toxicology
Volume34
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2021

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