Archives of Toxicology

, Volume 81, Issue 11, pp 803–811 | Cite as

Analysis of cell death inducing compounds

  • Jeppe S. Spicker
  • Henrik Toft Pedersen
  • Henrik Bjørn Nielsen
  • Søren Brunak
Molecular Toxicology


Biomarkers for early detection of toxicity hold the promise of improving the failure rates in drug development. In the present study, gene expression levels were measured using full-genome RAE230 version 2 Affymetrix GeneChips on rat liver tissue 48 h after administration of six different compounds, three toxins (ANIT, DMN and NMF) and three non-toxins (Caeruelein, Dinitrophenol and Rosiglitazone). We identified three gene transcripts with exceptional predictive performance towards liver toxicity and/or changes in histopathology. The three genes were: glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR), ornithine aminotransferase (OAT) and Cytochrome P450, subfamily IIC (mephenytoin 4-hydroxylase) (Cyp2C29). RT-PCR for these three genes was performed and four additional compounds were included for validation. The quantitative RT-PCR analysis confirmed the findings based on the microarray data and using the three genes a classification rate of 55 of 57 samples was achieved for the classification of not toxic versus toxic. The single most promising biomarker (OAT) alone resulted in a surprisingly 100% correctly classified samples. OAT has not previously been linked to toxicity and cell death in the literature and the novel finding represents a putative hepatotoxicity biomarker.


Toxicogenomics Cell death Ornithine aminotransferase (OAT) Glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR) Cytochrome P450—subfamily IIC (mephenytoin 4-hydroxylase) (Cyp2C29) 









Butylated hydroxytoluene


Buthinionine sulphoxide




Control (untreated) animal


Cytochrome P450, family 2, subfamily C








Flavin containing monooxygenase 1


Glucokinase regulatory protein


K-nearest neighbor




Ornithine aminotransferase





I would like to thank the COMET I consortium for giving me access to the tissues analyzed in this study. Homepage of the COMET consortium:

I would also like to thank Anne-Marie Mølck from Novo Nordisk with help on toxicity, Nina Hagen for inputs on P450, Lene Normann Nielsen on help with the QPCR and Kristine Dahlin from DTU with assistance in the laboratory.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeppe S. Spicker
    • 1
    • 2
  • Henrik Toft Pedersen
    • 2
  • Henrik Bjørn Nielsen
    • 1
  • Søren Brunak
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, BioCentrum-DTUTechnical University of DenmarkLyngbyDenmark
  2. 2.Protein Structure and Biophysics, Protein EngineeringNovo Nordisk ParkMåløvDenmark

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