Quantitative structure-activity relationships were developed for the toxicity data of 500 aliphatic chemicals tested in the two-day Tetrahymena pyriformis population growth impairment assay. These chemicals represented a number of structural classes spanning a variety of mechanisms of toxic action including narcoses and electrophilic mechanisms. A series of quantitative structure-toxicity models correlating toxic potency [log(IGC(50)(-1))] with a limited number of mechanistically interpretable descriptors were developed for toxicological domains within the data set. The descriptors included the 1-octanol/water partition coefficient (log K(ow)) (for hydrophobicity) and the energy of the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (E(lumo)) to quantify electrophilic reactivity. Neutral (nonpolar) narcosis was well modeled by the equation [log(IGC(50)(-1)) = 0.723(0.140) (log K(ow)) - 1.79(0.031); n = 215, r(2) (adj.) = 0.926, s = 0.274, r(2) (pred.) = 0.925]. Chemical classes fitting this domain included saturated alcohols, ketones, nitriles, esters, and sulfur-containing compounds. When the neutral narcotic chemicals were combined with diester narcotics, carboxylic sodium salts, Schiff-based forming aldehydes, electrophilic compounds capable of acting by a S(N)2 mechanism, and proelectrophiles, the model [log(IGC(50)(-1)) = 0.45(0.014) (log K(ow)) - 0.342 (0.035) (E(lumo)) - 1.11(0.05); n = 353, r(2) (adj.) = 0.859, s = 0.353, r(2) (pred.) = 0.857] provided a good fit to the data. The model [log(IGC(50)(-1)) = 0.273(0.018) (log K(ow)) - 0.116(0.056) (E(lumo)) - 0.558(0.054); n = 35, r(2) (adj.) = 0.873, s = 0.141, r(2) (pred.) = 0.838] provided an excellent fit of the data for compounds containing a carboxyl [RC(=O)O] group. The toxicity of aliphatic amines [RCN] was modeled by the equation [log(IGC(50)(-1)) = 0.676(0.048) (log K(ow)) - 1.23(0.08) n = 30, r(2) (adj.) = 0.873, s = 0. 336, r(2) (pred.) = 0.848]. The potency of saturated aliphatic isothiocyanates was a constant (0.0202 mM). Aliphatic chemicals that did not model well by equations involving log K(ow) and E(lumo) included amino alcohols and alpha-haloactivated compounds.
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