Definition of the Applicability Domains of Knowledgebased Predictive Toxicology Expert Systems by Using a Structural Fragment-based Approach
Claire M. Ellison, Steven J. Enoch, Mark T.D. Cronin, Judith C. Madden and Philip Judson
The applicability domain of a (quantitative) structure–activity relationship ([Q]SAR) must be defined, if a model is to be used successfully for toxicity prediction, particularly for regulatory purposes. Previous efforts to set guidelines on the definition of applicability domains have often been biased toward quantitative, rather than qualitative, models. As a result, novel techniques are still required to define the applicability domains of structural alert models and knowledge-based systems. By using Derek for Windows as an example, this study defined the domain for the skin sensitisation structural alert rule-base. This was achieved by fragmenting the molecules within a training set of compounds, then searching the fragments for those created from a test compound. This novel method was able to highlight test chemicals which differed from those in the training set. The information was then used to designate chemicals as being either within or outside the domain of applicability for the structural alert on which that training set was based.