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Relationship: 866


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

Accumulation, Highly carboxylated porphyrins leads to Uroporphyria

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

AOP Name Adjacency Weight of Evidence Quantitative Understanding Point of Contact Author Status OECD Status
Aryl hydrocarbon receptor activation leading to uroporphyria adjacent High High Amani Farhat (send email) Open for citation & comment WPHA/WNT Endorsed

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
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
mouse Mus musculus High NCBI
rat Rattus norvegicus High NCBI
human Homo sapiens High NCBI
chicken Gallus gallus High NCBI
herring gull Larus argentatus High NCBI

Sex Applicability

An indication of the the relevant sex for this KER. More help
Sex Evidence
Unspecific Not Specified

Life Stage Applicability

An indication of the the relevant life stage(s) for this KER.  More help
Term Evidence
Adult High
Juvenile High

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

Accumulation of porphyrins causes both physical and chemical damage to tissues, resulting in what is generally termed porphyria. The ability of porphyrins to absorb light of 400–410 nm (the Soret band) is the key factor in producing the photocutaneous lesions observed on sun exposed areas in affected individuals. The porphyrins absorb this light and enter a high energy state, which is then transferred to molecular oxygen resulting in reactive oxygen species (ROS). These ROS cause phototoxic damage and further catalyze the oxidation of porphyrinogens to porphyrins. Some porphyrins, mainly uroporphyrin and heptacarboxyl porphyrin, form needle-shaped crystals resulting in hydrophilic cytoplasmic inclusions[1]. Porphyrins demonstrate a range of water solubilities, and therefore show unique tissue and cellular distributions, resulting in different patterns of phototoxic damage histologically and cytologically[2].

Violet light excites the delocalized electrons in porphyrins. If the energy is not given out as red fluorescent light, it is passed onto oxygen to form tissue damaging free radicals. (Source: Sarkany, R. P. (2008).Photodermatol. Photoimmunol. Photomed. 24(2), 102-108.)

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

The WOE for tyhis KER is strong.

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

The mechanism by which porphyrins cause tissue damage is well understood[1][2]

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

No current inconsistencies to report.

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

This relationship exists in birds[3] and mammals, including humans[4].


List of the literature that was cited for this KER description. More help
  1. 1.0 1.1 Caballes F.R., Sendi, H., and Bonkovsky, H. L. (2012). Hepatitis C, porphyria cutanea tarda and liver iron: an update. Liver Int. 32 (6), 880-893.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sarkany, R. P. (2008). Making sense of the porphyrias. Photodermatol. Photoimmunol. Photomed. 24 (2), 102-108.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kennedy, S. W., and Fox, G. A. (1990) Highly carboxylated porphyrins as a biomarker of polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbon exposure in wildlife: Confirmation of their presence in Great Lakes herring gull chicks in the early 1970s and important methodological details. Chemosphere 21 (3), 407-415.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Smith, A. G., and Elder, G. H. (2010) Complex gene-chemical interactions: hepatic uroporphyria as a paradigm. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 23 (4), 712-723.
  5. []"Diagnostic blood test for porphyria "
  6. []"Diagnosis of Porphyrias "
  7. Phillips, J. D., Jackson, L. K., Bunting, M., Franklin, M. R., Thomas, K. R., Levy, J. E., Andrews, N. C., and Kushner, J. P. (2001). A mouse model of familial porphyria cutanea tarda. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A 98(1), 259-264.
  8. Gorman, N., Ross, K. L., Walton, H. S., Bement, W. J., Szakacs, J. G., Gerhard, G. S., Dalton, T. P., Nebert, D. W., Eisenstein, R. S., Sinclair, J. F., and Sinclair, P. R. (2002). Uroporphyria in mice: thresholds for hepatic CYP1A2 and iron. Hepatology 35(4), 912-921.

  9. Smith, A. G., Clothier, B., Carthew, P., Childs, N. L., Sinclair, P. R., Nebert, D. W., and Dalton, T. P. (2001). Protection of the Cyp1a2(-/-) null mouse against uroporphyria and hepatic injury following exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 173(2), 89-98.

  10. Bohrer, H., Schmidt, H., Martin, E., Lux, R., Bolsen, K., and Goerz, G. (1995). Testing the porphyrinogenicity of propofol in a primed rat model. Br. J. Anaesth. 75(3), 334-338.

  11. Goldstein, J. A., Linko, P., and Bergman, H. (1982). Induction of porphyria in the rat by chronic versus acute exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Biochem. Pharmacol. 31(8), 1607-1613.

  12. Fox, G.A., Kennedy, S.W. and Nordstrom, R.J. (1988) Porphyria In Herring Gulls: A Biochemical Response To Chemical Contamination Of Great Lakes Food Chains. Env. Tox. Chem. 7, 831-9.