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Int J Mol Sci. 2010;11(12):4796-813. doi: 10.3390/ijms11124796. Epub 2010 Nov 24.

Functional toxicogenomics: mechanism-centered toxicology.

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Department of Nutritional Science and Toxicology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA; E-Mail:


Traditional toxicity testing using animal models is slow, low capacity, expensive and assesses a limited number of endpoints. Such approaches are inadequate to deal with the increasingly large number of compounds found in the environment for which there are no toxicity data. Mechanism-centered high-throughput testing represents an alternative approach to meet this pressing need but is limited by our current understanding of toxicity pathways. Functional toxicogenomics, the global study of the biological function of genes on the modulation of the toxic effect of a compound, can play an important role in identifying the essential cellular components and pathways involved in toxicity response. The combination of the identification of fundamental toxicity pathways and mechanism-centered targeted assays represents an integrated approach to advance molecular toxicology to meet the challenges of toxicity testing in the 21(st) century.


barcoding; functional toxicogenomics; toxicity pathways; toxicity testing; yeast

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