New in silico models to predict in vitro micronucleus induction as marker of genotoxicity

Diego Baderna, Domenico Gadaleta, Eleonora Lostaglio, Gianluca Selvestrel, Giuseppa Raitano, Azadi Golbamaki, Anna Lombardo, Emilio Benfenati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The evaluation of genotoxicity is a fundamental part of the safety assessment of chemicals due to the relevance of the potential health effects of genotoxicants. Among the testing methods available, the in vitro micronucleus assay with mammalian cells is one of the most used and required by regulations targeting several industrial sectors such as the cosmetic industry and food-related sectors. As an alternative to the testing methods, in recent years, lots in silico methods were developed to predict the genotoxicity of chemicals, including models for the Ames mutagenicity test, the in vitro chromosomal aberrations and the in vivo micronucleus assay. We developed several in silico models for the prediction of genotoxicity as reflected by the in vitro micronucleus assay. The resulting models include both statistical and knowledge-based models. The most promising model is the one based on fragments extracted with the SARpy platform. More than 100 structural alerts were extracted, including also fragments associated with the non-genotoxic activity. The model is characterized by high accuracy and the lowest false negative rate, making this tool suitable for chemical screening according to the regulators' needs. The SARpy model will be implemented on the VEGA platform ( and will be freely available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121638
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - Mar 5 2020


  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutagens/toxicity
  • Organic Chemicals/toxicity


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