Molecular recognition of endocrine disruptors by synthetic and natural 17β-estradiol receptors: a comparative study
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A β-estradiol receptor binding mimic was synthesised using molecular imprinting. Bulk polymers and spherical polymer nanoparticles based on methacrylic acid and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate as the functional monomer and crosslinker, respectively, were prepared in acetonitrile. The selectivity was evaluated by radioligand binding assays. The imprinted polymers were very specific to β-estradiol since the control polymers bound virtually none of the radioligand. The bulk polymer was then employed to screen endocrine disrupting chemicals. Structurally related steroids like α-estradiol, estrone and ethynylestradiol showed, respectively, 14.0, 5.0 and 0.7% of relative binding to the β-estradiol polymer, whereas most unrelated chemicals did not bind at all. These results are compared to those obtained with a bioassay using stably transfected yeast cells in culture bearing the human estrogen receptor. The receptor was activated by several estrogen-like chemicals and to a lesser extent by some structurally related chemicals.
KeywordsMolecular imprinting Synthetic receptors Endocrine disruptors Bioassay Screening β-estradiol
The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the European Union (MENDOS project, grant n° QLK4-CT2002-02323). The technical assistance by Mrs. C. Vangenechten who performed the yeast assay is acknowledged.
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