Summer Research Fellowship Programme of India's Science Academies

P2Tox: An online comprehensive database for toxicity prediction of polyphenols

Roshni Bhattacharya

School of Bioengineering and Food Technology, Shoolini University, Solan, Himachal Pradaesh, 173229

Professor Alok Dhawan

CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, 80 Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, 226001


Several databases are available that describe the chemistry and biosynthesis of plant chemicals and their properties. However, not many databases are specifically focused on toxicity of phytochemicals and more precisely on toxicity of polyphenols. As antioxidants, polyphenols influence human health and may play a role in the prevention of a few chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, some cancers or type-2 diabetes. Dietary polyphenols have also been in use to prevent and treat diseases like Alzheimer's and they are potential therapeutic agents because of their chemopreventive and anticancerous properties. Regardless of the studies, cases of toxicity due to polyphenols have been cropping up. Since polyphenols have a major contribution in the field of pharmacognosy, a database for their toxicity is of utmost importance. P2Tox is the first comprehensive web-based database on the toxicity of polyphenolic content in foods. 415 polyphenolic compounds were taken from the Phenol-Explorer database and were tested for five toxicity endpoints such as Carcinogenicity, Mutagenicity, Developmental toxicity, Hepatotoxicity and Skin Sensitization which were further categorized according to the respective classes. The data for these toxicity endpoints were predicted using Lhasa’s DEREK and NEXUS, VEGA and Discovery studio’s TOPKAT. The web interface developed for P2Tox database will allow the users to identify the polyphenols on the basis of the specific endpoint for which they show toxicity. P2Tox is a major step forward in the development of toxicity databases on compounds constituting phytochemicals specially polyphenols. This database will provide a platform for researchers to better understand the role of phytochemicals with respect to their toxicity for developing safe formulations in the field of nutritional and pharmacological applications.

Keywords: Mutagenicity, Carcinogenicity, Skin sensitization, Hepatotoxicity, Phytochemicals

Written, reviewed, revised, proofed and published with