Journal of chemical information and modeling

Insights into the Molecular Basis of the Acute Contact Toxicity of Diverse Organic Chemicals in the Honey Bee.

PMID 29161513


Use of chemical pollutants, including pesticides and other industrial chemicals, has resulted in significant risks to the whole ecosystem. Therefore, ecological risk assessment of chemicals is vital and necessary. Since the honey bee (Apis mellifera) is probably among the most exposed species to the polluting chemicals, we focused on the in silico estimation of honey bee toxicity (HBT) of chemicals and the analysis of the relevance of chemical HBT and several key physical-chemical properties and structural characteristics. A total of 40 classification models were developed by combination of five machine learning methods along with seven kinds of fingerprints and a set of molecular descriptors. After 5-fold cross validation and external validation, several models showed good predictive power. The relevance of 12 key physical-chemical properties and chemical HBT was also investigated. Five properties, including AlogP, logD, molecular weight (MW), molecular surface area (MSA), and the number of rotatable bonds (nRTB), indicated positive correlation coefficients with HBT, while molecular solubility (logS) and the number of hydrogen bond donors (nHBD) indicated negative correlation coefficients. Finally, seven privileged substructures responsible for chemical HBT were identified from KRFP and SubFP fingerprints. The results of this study should provide critical information and useful tools for chemical HBT estimation in environmental risk assessment.