Xia, Zhang, Peng, Shi, Zhang (2020) Pathway-based assessment of single chemicals and mixtures by a high-throughput transcriptomics approach Environment international 136() 105455


The ever-increasing number of chemicals and complex mixtures demands a high-throughput and cost-effective approach for chemical safety assessment. High-throughput transcriptomics (HTT) is promising in investigating genome-scale perturbation of chemical exposure in concentration-dependent manner. However, the application of HTT has been limited due to lack of methodology for single chemicals and mixture assessment. This study aimed to evaluate the ability of a newly-developed human reduced transcriptomics (RHT) approach to assess pathway-based profiles of single chemicals, and to develop a biological pathway-based approach for benchmarking mixture potency using single chemical-based prediction model. First, concentration-dependent RHT were used to qualitatively and quantitatively differentiate pathway-based patterns of different chemicals, using three model toxicants, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), triclosan (TCS) and 5-Chloro-6-hydroxy-2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (5-Cl-6-OH-BDE-47). AHR-regulated genes and pathways were most sensitively induced by TCDD, while TCS and 5-Cl-6-OH-BDE-47 were much less potent in AHR-associated activation, which was concordant with known MoA of each single chemical. Second, two artificial mixtures and their components of twelve individual chemicals were performed with concentration-dependent RHT. Concentration addition (CA) and independent action (IA) models were used to predict transcriptional potency of mixtures from transcriptomics of individual chemicals. For overall bioactivity, CA and IA models can both predict potency of observed responses within 95% confidence interval. For specific biological processes, multiple biological processes such as hormone signaling and DNA damage can be predicted using CA models for mixtures. The concentration-dependent RHT can provide a powerful approach for qualitative and quantitative assessment of biological pathway perturbated by environment chemical and mixtures. Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.