Estrogen agonistic/antagonistic activity of brominated parabens
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The estrogen agonistic/antagonistic activity of 16 brominated by-products of parabens was assessed by using a yeast two-hybrid assay transfected with the human estrogen receptor α. Characterization of synthetic compounds including novel brominated parabens was performed using 1H-NMR spectroscopy and high-resolution mass spectrometry. For the agonist assay, five C3–C4 alkylparabens exhibited significant activity (P < 0.05) relative to that of 17β-estradiol, ranging from 3.7 × 10−5 to 7.1 × 10−4. In contrast, none of the brominated alkyl parabens exhibited agonistic activity. In the antagonist assay, 12 brominated alkylparabens and butylparaben exhibited significant antagonistic activity (P < 0.05). Their antagonistic activity relative to 4-hydroxytamoxifen ranged from 0.11 to 2.5. The antagonist activity of C1–C4 alkylparabens increased with the number of bromine substitutions. Benzylparaben exhibited both agonistic and antagonistic activity, and these activities dissipated or were weakened with increased bromination. Thus, increased bromination appeared to attenuate the estrogen agonistic activity of most parabens such that it resulted in increased antagonistic activity, a feature of parabens that had not been previously described.
KeywordsPersonal care products Disinfection by-products Endocrine disruption Agonist Antagonist Yeast two-hybrid assay
This work was supported by the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) no. 17H03094 from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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