CrossRef enabled

PAC Archives

Archive →

Pure Appl. Chem., 2003, Vol. 75, No. 11-12, pp. 2413-2414

Toxicogenomics: Impact on human health

J. K. Selkirk

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA

Abstract: Toxicology is the science of adverse effects of chemicals, drugs, environmental agents, and stressors. Genomics defines the structure, sequence (code), and function of the entire DNA complement of organisms. The interface of these diverse disciplines is called toxicogenomics and is based upon the application of genomic technologies to define globally the changes in gene expression (both mRNA and proteins) as a consequence of exposures. DNA microarray technology enables the simultaneous measurement of transcription of thousands of genes using microchips containing thousands of probes of complementary DNA (cDNA) immobilized in a predetermined array. The ultimate application of this technology to toxicology holds great promise but faces several formidable problems. With the solution to these problems, it will be possible to develop a substantial database of Chemical Effects in Biological Systems (CEBS). Such a database will provide the capacity to relate specific changes in gene expression to specific adverse effects and to look for similar pathways in different organisms. Such data will provide an objective way of assessing surrogate systems for reporting or predicting potential adverse effects in humans. While the potential for toxicogenomics is thus very high for studying active substances, the task must be approached in a deliberate, incremental manner to insure that only high-quality data are compiled and analyzed. This workshop will present the latest results of research conducted in leading international laboratories studying endocrine-mediated toxicity.