Structure-related clustering of gene expression fingerprints of thp-1 cells exposed to smaller polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

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SAR and QSAR in Environmental Research

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This study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that structurally similar PAHs induce similar gene expression profiles. THP-1 cells were exposed to a series of 12 selected PAHs at 50 microM for 24 hours and gene expressions profiles were analyzed using both unsupervised and supervised methods. Clustering analysis of gene expression profiles revealed that the 12 tested chemicals were grouped into five clusters. Within each cluster, the gene expression profiles are more similar to each other than to the ones outside the cluster. One-methylanthracene and 1-methylfluorene were found to have the most similar profiles; dibenzothiophene and dibenzofuran were found to share common profiles with fluorine. As expression pattern comparisons were expanded, similarity in genomic fingerprint dropped off dramatically. Prediction analysis of microarrays (PAM) based on the clustering pattern generated 49 predictor genes that can be used for sample discrimination. Moreover, a significant analysis of Microarrays (SAM) identified 598 genes being modulated by tested chemicals with a variety of biological processes, such as cell cycle, metabolism, and protein binding and KEGG pathways being significantly (p < 0.05) affected. It is feasible to distinguish structurally different PAHs based on their genomic fingerprints, which are mechanism based.

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