An Adverse Outcome Pathway Network for Chemically Induced Oxidative Stress Leading to (Non)genotoxic Carcinogenesis

Chemical Research in Toxicology
Veltman Christina H. J., Pennings Jeroen L. A., van de Water Bob, Luijten Mirjam
DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.2c00396
PMID: 37156502
Keyword: Cancer · Genetics · Oxidative stress · Peptides and proteins · Toxicology


Nongenotoxic (NGTX) carcinogens induce cancer via other mechanisms than direct DNA damage. A recognized mode of action for NGTX carcinogens is induction of oxidative stress, a state in which the amount of oxidants in a cell exceeds its antioxidant capacity, leading to regenerative proliferation. Currently, carcinogenicity assessment of environmental chemicals primarily relies on genetic toxicity end points. Since NGTX carcinogens lack genotoxic potential, these chemicals may remain undetected in such evaluations. To enhance the predictivity of test strategies for carcinogenicity assessment, a shift toward mechanism-based approaches is required. Here, we present an adverse outcome pathway (AOP) network for chemically induced oxidative stress leading to (NGTX) carcinogenesis. To develop this AOP network, we first investigated the role of oxidative stress in the various cancer hallmarks. Next, possible mechanisms for chemical induction of oxidative stress and the biological effects of oxidative damage to macromolecules were considered. This resulted in an AOP network, of which associated uncertainties were explored. Ultimately, development of AOP networks relevant for carcinogenesis in humans will aid the transition to a mechanism-based, human relevant carcinogenicity assessment that involves a substantially lower number of laboratory animals.