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J Hazard Mater. 2011 Jun 15;190(1-3):106-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2011.03.008. Epub 2011 Mar 9.

QSAR classification models for the prediction of endocrine disrupting activity of brominated flame retardants.

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  • 1QSAR Research Unit in Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, DBSF, University of Insubria, Via J.H. Dunant 3, 21100 Varese, Italy.


The identification of potential endocrine disrupting (ED) chemicals is an important task for the scientific community due to their diffusion in the environment; the production and use of such compounds will be strictly regulated through the authorization process of the REACH regulation. To overcome the problem of insufficient experimental data, the quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) approach is applied to predict the ED activity of new chemicals. In the present study QSAR classification models are developed, according to the OECD principles, to predict the ED potency for a class of emerging ubiquitary pollutants, viz. brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Different endpoints related to ED activity (i.e. aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonism and antagonism, estrogen receptor agonism and antagonism, androgen and progesterone receptor antagonism, T4-TTR competition, E2SULT inhibition) are modeled using the k-NN classification method. The best models are selected by maximizing the sensitivity and external predictive ability. We propose simple QSARs (based on few descriptors) characterized by internal stability, good predictive power and with a verified applicability domain. These models are simple tools that are applicable to screen BFRs in relation to their ED activity, and also to design safer alternatives, in agreement with the requirements of REACH regulation at the authorization step.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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