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Relationship: 352


A descriptive phrase which clearly defines the two KEs being considered and the sequential relationship between them (i.e., which is upstream, and which is downstream). More help

Formation, Pro-mutagenic DNA Adducts leads to Increased, Clonal Expansion / Cell Proliferatin to form Pre-Neoplastic Altered Hepatic Foci

Upstream event
The causing Key Event (KE) in a Key Event Relationship (KER). More help
Downstream event
The responding Key Event (KE) in a Key Event Relationship (KER). More help

Key Event Relationship Overview

The utility of AOPs for regulatory application is defined, to a large extent, by the confidence and precision with which they facilitate extrapolation of data measured at low levels of biological organisation to predicted outcomes at higher levels of organisation and the extent to which they can link biological effect measurements to their specific causes. Within the AOP framework, the predictive relationships that facilitate extrapolation are represented by the KERs. Consequently, the overall WoE for an AOP is a reflection in part, of the level of confidence in the underlying series of KERs it encompasses. Therefore, describing the KERs in an AOP involves assembling and organising the types of information and evidence that defines the scientific basis for inferring the probable change in, or state of, a downstream KE from the known or measured state of an upstream KE. More help

AOPs Referencing Relationship

Taxonomic Applicability

Latin or common names of a species or broader taxonomic grouping (e.g., class, order, family) that help to define the biological applicability domain of the KER.In general, this will be dictated by the more restrictive of the two KEs being linked together by the KER.  More help

Sex Applicability

An indication of the the relevant sex for this KER. More help

Life Stage Applicability

An indication of the the relevant life stage(s) for this KER.  More help

Key Event Relationship Description

Provides a concise overview of the information given below as well as addressing details that aren’t inherent in the description of the KEs themselves. More help

Formation of the pro-mutagenic DNA adduct, N7-AFB1-G (or its conversion product, N7-AFB1-FAPy) is the first step in the initiation of a process that may finish in development of altered hepatic foci (AHF) which can lead to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). These steps (pro-mutagenic adduct formation and formation of AHF) are indirectly linked through insufficient/mis-repair of DNA and induction of a mutation in a critical gene.

Evidence Collection Strategy

Include a description of the approach for identification and assembly of the evidence base for the KER.  For evidence identification, include, for example, a description of the sources and dates of information consulted including expert knowledge, databases searched and associated search terms/strings.  Include also a description of study screening criteria and methodology, study quality assessment considerations, the data extraction strategy and links to any repositories/databases of relevant references.Tabular summaries and links to relevant supporting documentation are encouraged, wherever possible. More help

Evidence Supporting this KER

Addresses the scientific evidence supporting KERs in an AOP setting the stage for overall assessment of the AOP. More help
Biological Plausibility
Addresses the biological rationale for a connection between KEupstream and KEdownstream.  This field can also incorporate additional mechanistic details that help inform the relationship between KEs, this is useful when it is not practical/pragmatic to represent these details as separate KEs due to the difficulty or relative infrequency with which it is likely to be measured.   More help

While there is no specific information for AFB1, it is widely recognized that pro-mutagenic adducts formed by AFB1 metabolites may be repaired/removed or may result in mutations. The fidelity of the repair processes and probability of mis-repair determine whether mutations arise in tumor-critical genes. The altered hepatic foci (AHF) are believed to result from mutations expressed in cells that demonstrate reduced apoptosis and increased proliferation, likely linked to the mutations. (Alekseyev et al., 2004; Zhang et al., 2003; Giri et al., 2002; Bailey et al., 1996; Lin et al., 2014).

Uncertainties and Inconsistencies
Addresses inconsistencies or uncertainties in the relationship including the identification of experimental details that may explain apparent deviations from the expected patterns of concordance. More help

The direct KER relationships between adducts and mutations (MIE→KE#2) and from mutations to AHF (KE#2→KE#3) determine this indirect relationship. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of data to support quantification of a relationship between adducts and AHF; neither to address an AFB1 dose-response for both KEs.

Known modulating factors

This table captures specific information on the MF, its properties, how it affects the KER and respective references.1.) What is the modulating factor? Name the factor for which solid evidence exists that it influences this KER. Examples: age, sex, genotype, diet 2.) Details of this modulating factor. Specify which features of this MF are relevant for this KER. Examples: a specific age range or a specific biological age (defined by...); a specific gene mutation or variant, a specific nutrient (deficit or surplus); a sex-specific homone; a certain threshold value (e.g. serum levels of a chemical above...) 3.) Description of how this modulating factor affects this KER. Describe the provable modification of the KER (also quantitatively, if known). Examples: increase or decrease of the magnitude of effect (by a factor of...); change of the time-course of the effect (onset delay by...); alteration of the probability of the effect; increase or decrease of the sensitivity of the downstream effect (by a factor of...) 4.) Provision of supporting scientific evidence for an effect of this MF on this KER. Give a list of references.  More help
Response-response Relationship
Provides sources of data that define the response-response relationships between the KEs.  More help
Information regarding the approximate time-scale of the changes in KEdownstream relative to changes in KEupstream (i.e., do effects on KEdownstream lag those on KEupstream by seconds, minutes, hours, or days?). More help
Known Feedforward/Feedback loops influencing this KER
Define whether there are known positive or negative feedback mechanisms involved and what is understood about their time-course and homeostatic limits. More help

Domain of Applicability

A free-text section of the KER description that the developers can use to explain their rationale for the taxonomic, life stage, or sex applicability structured terms. More help

The universality of both DNA adducts and AHF in the pathogenesis of liver cancer suggests that the wide taxonomic applicability noted elsewhere in this AOP is likely true for this KER.


List of the literature that was cited for this KER description. More help

Alekseyev YO, Hamm ML, Essigmann JM (2004) Aflatoxin B1 formamidopyrimidine adducts are preferentially repaired by the nucleotide excision repair pathway in vivo. Carcinogenesis 25: 1045-1051.

Bailey EA, Iyer RS, Stone MP, Harris TM, Essigmann JM (1996) Mutational properties of the primary aflatoxin B1-DNA adduct. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 93: 1535-1539.

Bannasch P, Benner U, Enzmann H, Hacker HJ (1985) Tigroid cell foci and neoplastic nodules in the liver of rats treated with a single dose of aflatoxin B1. Carcinogenesis 6: 1641-1648.

Bechtel DH (1989) Molecular dosimetry of hepatic aflatoxin B1-DNA adducts: linear correlation with hepatic cancer risk. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 10: 74-81.

Dragan YP, Hully J, Baker K, Crow R, Mass MJ, Pitot HC (1995) Comparison of experimental and theoretical parameters of the Moolgavkar-Venzon-Knudson incidence function for the stages of initiation and promotion in rat hepatocarcinogenesis. Toxicology 102: 161-175.

Giri I, Johnston DS, Stone MP (2002) Mispairing of the 8,9-dihydro-8-(N7-guanyl)-9-hydroxy-aflatoxin B1 adduct with deoxyadenosine results in extrusion of the mismatched dA toward the major groove. Biochemistry 41: 5462-5472.

Gursoy-Yuzugullu O, Yuzugullu H, Yilmaz M, Ozturk M (2011) Aflatoxin genotoxicity is associated with a defective DNA damage response bypassing p53 activation. Liver Int 31: 561-571.

Harada T, Maronpot RR, Morris RW, Boorman GA (1990) Effects of mononuclear cell leukemia on altered hepatocellular foci in Fischer 344 rats. Vet Pathol 27: 110-116.

Harada T, Maronpot RR, Morris RW, Stitzel KA, Boorman GA (1989) Morphological and stereological characterization of hepatic foci of cellular alteration in control Fischer 344 rats. Toxicol Pathol 17: 579-593.

Johnson NM, Egner PA, Baxter VK, Sporn MB, Wible RS, et al (2014) Complete protection against aflatoxin B1-induced liver cancer with triterpenoid: DNA adduct dosimetry, molecular signature and genotoxicity threshold. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-13-0430

Lin YC, Li L, Makarova AV, Burgers PM, Stone MP, Lloyd RS (2014) Molecular basis of aflatoxin-induced mutagenesis--role of the aflatoxin B1-formamidopyrimidine adduct. Carcinogenesis doi:10.1093/carcin/bgu003

Popp JA, Scortichini BH, Garvey LK (1985) Quantitative evaluation of hepatic foci of cellular alteration occurring spontaneously in Fischer-344 rats. Fundam Appl Toxicol 5: 314-319.

Zhang YJ, Chen Y, Ahsan H, Lunn RM, Lee PH, et al (2003) Inactivation of the DNA repair gene O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase by promoter hypermethylation and its relationship to aflatoxin B1-DNA adducts and p53 mutation in hepatocellular carcinoma. Int J Cancer 103: 440-444.