Endocrinology Journal Article

In Silico Predictions of Endocrine Disruptors Properties

July 02, 2019

Melanie Schneider, Jean-Luc Pons, Gilles Labesse, William Bourguet
Endocrinology, Volume 160, Issue 11, November 2019, Pages 2709–2716
https://doi.org/10.1210/en.2019-00382

Abstract

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are a broad class of molecules present in our environment that are suspected to cause adverse effects in the endocrine system by interfering with the synthesis, transport, degradation, or action of endogenous ligands. The characterization of the harmful interaction between environmental compounds and their potential cellular targets and the development of robust in vivo, in vitro, and in silico screening methods are important for assessment of the toxic potential of large numbers of chemicals. In this context, computer-aided technologies that will allow for activity prediction of endocrine disruptors and environmental risk assessments are being developed. These technologies must be able to cope with diverse data and connect chemistry at the atomic level with the biological activity at the cellular, organ, and organism levels. Quantitative structure–activity relationship methods became popular for toxicity issues. They correlate the chemical structure of compounds with biological activity through a number of molecular descriptors (e.g., molecular weight and parameters to account for hydrophobicity, topology, or electronic properties). Chemical structure analysis is a first step; however, modeling intermolecular interactions and cellular behavior will also be essential. The increasing number of three-dimensional crystal structures of EDCs’ targets has provided a wealth of structural information that can be used to predict their interactions with EDCs using docking and scoring procedures. In the present review, we have described the various computer-assisted approaches that use ligands and targets properties to predict endocrine disruptor activities.

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