High-throughput screening (HTS) research programs for drug development or chemical hazard assessment are designed to screen thousands of molecules across hundreds of biological targets or pathways. Most HTS platforms use fluorescence and luminescence technologies, representing more than 70% of the assays in the US Tox21 research consortium. These technologies are subject to interferent signals largely explained by chemicals interacting with light spectrum. This phenomenon results in up to 5-10% of false positive results, depending on the chemical library used. Here, we present the InterPred webserver (version 1.0), a platform to predict such interference chemicals based on the first large-scale chemical screening effort to directly characterize chemical-assay interference, using assays in the Tox21 portfolio specifically designed to measure autofluorescence and luciferase inhibition. InterPred combines 17 quantitative structure activity relationship (QSAR) models built using optimized machine learning techniques and allows users to predict the probability that a new chemical will interfere with different combinations of cellular and technology conditions. InterPred models have been applied to the entire Distributed Structure-Searchable Toxicity (DSSTox) Database (∼800,000 chemicals). The InterPred webserver is available at https://sandbox.ntp.niehs.nih.gov/interferences/.
Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research 2020.