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Int J Mol Sci. 2010 Sep 20;11(9):3397-412. doi: 10.3390/ijms11093397.

Practical application of toxicogenomics for profiling toxicant-induced biological perturbations.

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Medicinal Safety Research Laboratories, Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd., 717 Horikoshi, Fukuroi, Shizuoka 437-0065, Japan; E-Mails: (T.Y.); (A.S.).


A systems-level understanding of molecular perturbations is crucial for evaluating chemical-induced toxicity risks appropriately, and for this purpose comprehensive gene expression analysis or toxicogenomics investigation is highly advantageous. The recent accumulation of toxicity-associated gene sets (toxicogenomic biomarkers), enrichment in public or commercial large-scale microarray database and availability of open-source software resources facilitate our utilization of the toxicogenomic data. However, toxicologists, who are usually not experts in computational sciences, tend to be overwhelmed by the gigantic amount of data. In this paper we present practical applications of toxicogenomics by utilizing biomarker gene sets and a simple scoring method by which overall gene set-level expression changes can be evaluated efficiently. Results from the gene set-level analysis are not only an easy interpretation of toxicological significance compared with individual gene-level profiling, but also are thought to be suitable for cross-platform or cross-institutional toxicogenomics data analysis. Enrichment in toxicogenomics databases, refinements of biomarker gene sets and scoring algorithms and the development of user-friendly integrative software will lead to better evaluation of toxicant-elicited biological perturbations.


bioinformatics; biomarker; microarray; systems biology; toxicogenomics

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