Identification of 'genotoxic' and 'non-genotoxic' alerts for cancer in mice: the carcinogenic potency database

Mutat Res. 1998 Feb 26;398(1-2):1-17. doi: 10.1016/s0027-5107(97)00202-9.


A set of chemicals tested for carcinogenicity in mice that have been analyzed by Gold et al. [L.S. Gold, C.B. Sawyer, R. Magaw, G.M. Backman, M. deVeciana, R. Levinson, N.K. Hooper, W.R. Havender, L. Bernstein, R. Peto, M.C. Pike, B.N. Ames, Environ. Health Perspect. 58 (1984) 9-319; L.S. Gold, M. deVeciana, G.M. Backman, M. Lopipero, M. Smith, R. Blumenthal, R. Levinson, L. Bernstein, B.N. Ames, Environ. Health Perspect. 67 (1986) 161-200; L.S. Gold, T.H. Slone, G.M. Backman, R. Magaw, M. DaCosta, P. Lopipero, M. Blumenthal, B.N. Ames, Environ. Health Perspect. 74 (1987) 237-329; L.S. Gold, T.H. Slone, G.M. Backman, S. Eisenberg, M. DaCosta, M. Wong, N.B. Manley, L. Rohrbach, B.N. Ames, Environ. Health Perspect. 84 (1990) 215-286; L.S. Gold, N.B. Manley, T.H. Slone, T.H. Garfinkle, L. Rohrbach, B.N. Ames, Environ. Health Perspect. 100 (1993) 65-135] in the first five plots of the carcinogenic potency database (CPDB) was subjected to CASE/MULTICASE analyses. Briefly, CASE/MULTICASE is a computer-automated structure evaluation system that is capable of identifying structural features of chemicals associated with a specified biological activity (e.g., carcinogenicity or mutagenicity). These features are then incorporated into a structure-activity relationship (SAR) model for the analyzed database. The mouse CPDB used in this study consists of 627 chemicals, 289 of which are carcinogens, 11 marginal or weak carcinogens (i.e., chemicals requiring high doses to induce cancer) and 327 non-carcinogens. In an internal prediction analysis where the CASE/MULTICASE SAR model was used to predict the carcinogenicity of chemicals used to create the model, a concordance between experimental and predicted results of 96% was obtained. This indicates that the model is able to satisfactorily explain the chemicals in the learning set. In a drop-one cross-validation study where chemicals were removed one at a time and the remaining n - 1 chemicals were used in an iterative method to create a model to predict the removed chemical, CASE/MULTICASE was able to achieve a concordance between experimental and predicted results of 70%. Using a modified validation process designed to investigate the predictivity of a more focused SAR model, the system achieved a 78% concordance between experimental and predicted results. Among the major biophores identified by CASE/MULTICASE associated with cancer causation in mice several are derived from electrophilic or potentially electrophilic compounds (e.g., hydrazines, N-mustards, N-nitrosamines, aromatic amines, reactive halogens, and quinones). Other biophores however are derived from chemicals seemingly devoid of actual or potential DNA-reactivity and as such may represent structural feature of non-genotoxic carcinogens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogens*
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Mice
  • Mutagens*
  • Probability
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Carcinogens
  • Mutagens