Characterisation of the NRF2 transcriptional network and its response to chemical insult in primary human hepatocytes: implications for prediction of drug-induced liver injury



Copple, Ian M ORCID: 0000-0003-4101-1913, den Hollander, Wouter, Callegaro, Giulia, Mutter, Fiona E, Maggs, James L, Schofield, Amy L, Rainbow, Lucille ORCID: 0000-0003-0447-6885, Fang, Yongxiang ORCID: 0000-0002-4514-5292, Sutherland, Jeffrey J, Ellis, Ewa C
et al (show 6 more authors) (2019) Characterisation of the NRF2 transcriptional network and its response to chemical insult in primary human hepatocytes: implications for prediction of drug-induced liver injury. Archives of Toxicology, 93. 385 - 399.

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Abstract

The transcription factor NRF2, governed by its repressor KEAP1, protects cells against oxidative stress. There is interest in modelling the NRF2 response to improve the prediction of clinical toxicities such as drug-induced liver injury (DILI). However, very little is known about the makeup of the NRF2 transcriptional network and its response to chemical perturbation in primary human hepatocytes (PHH), which are often used as a translational model for investigating DILI. Here, microarray analysis identified 108 transcripts (including several putative novel NRF2-regulated genes) that were both downregulated by siRNA targeting NRF2 and upregulated by siRNA targeting KEAP1 in PHH. Applying weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) to transcriptomic data from the Open TG-GATES toxicogenomics repository (representing PHH exposed to 158 compounds) revealed four co-expressed gene sets or ‘modules’ enriched for these and other NRF2-associated genes. By classifying the 158 TG-GATES compounds based on published evidence, and employing the four modules as network perturbation metrics, we found that the activation of NRF2 is a very good indicator of the intrinsic biochemical reactivity of a compound (i.e. its propensity to cause direct chemical stress), with relatively high sensitivity, specificity, accuracy and positive/negative predictive values. We also found that NRF2 activation has lower sensitivity for the prediction of clinical DILI risk, although relatively high specificity and positive predictive values indicate that false positive detection rates are likely to be low in this setting. Underpinned by our comprehensive analysis, activation of the NRF2 network is one of several mechanism-based components that can be incorporated into holistic systems toxicology models to improve mechanistic understanding and preclinical prediction of DILI in man.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: DILI, NFE2L2, KEAP1, WGCNA, Oxidative stress
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2018 16:15
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2021 08:39
DOI: 10.1007/s00204-018-2354-1
Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00204-018-2354-1
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3029044