Part of the book: Pesticides
Already in 1978, Elisabeth C. Miller and James A. Miller came with a presumption that electrophilic molecules are predicted to be carcinogens. It is because DNA molecule is reached in nucleophilic centres that may covalently bind to such substances. Rules deduced by Millers are even nowadays irrefutable, and they are used as the basis of testing of the substance for its carcinogenicity potential. Toxicological discipline that emerged from Millers’ research is based on dependence of chemical structure of the substance and their biological activity. Even further, there are strict regularities between molecular structures and activities. The tool used in assessment of biological activity of a substance is known as SAR, an abbreviation from structure–activity relationship. Besides electrophilic centres, in assessment of carcinogenic potential of a substance, the SAR also encounters chemical surrounding (neighbouring functional groups), size of the substance, its lipophilicity, number and position of aryl rings, substitutions of hydrogens, epoxides in aliphatic moieties or rings, resonance stabilisation, etc. To these days, SAR has been upgraded to quantitative SAR (QSAR) which applies multivariate statistical methods quantitatively comparing detected characteristics of “alerts” with biological activity of known carcinogens. Nowadays, chemical industry developing novel active substances is unthinkable without application of QSAR.
Part of the book: Genotoxicity