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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2008 Feb;108(3-5):213-20. Epub 2007 Sep 7.

Phytoestrogens and xenoestrogens: the contribution of diet and environment to endocrine disruption.

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  • 1School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom. r.h.waring@bham.ac.uk


Some endocrine disrupting compounds such as phthalates and phenols act non-genomically by inhibiting the sulfotransferase (SULT 1E1 and SULT 1A1) isoforms which inactivate estrogens by sulfonation. A range of environmental phenolic contaminants and dietary flavonoids was tested for inhibition of the human SULT 1A1, 1E1 and 2A1 isoforms. In particular, the plasticisers 4-n-octyl- and 4-n-nonyl-phenol inhibit SULT 1E1 with IC(50) values of 0.16 microM vs. 10nM estradiol while the 2-substituted chlorophenols show similar values. Flavonoids are also SULT inhibitors; tricin is a competitive inhibitor of SULT 1E1 with a K(i) of 1.5+/-0.8 nM. In a small pilot study to determine whether ingestion of soy flavonoids would affect SULT1A1 activity in vivo as well as in vitro, sulfonation of daidzein was reduced in a group of women 'at risk' of breast cancer, as compared with controls, although the SULT 1A1*1/SULT 1A1*2 allele ratio was not different. Endocrine disrupting effects in man may be multifactorial when components from both the diet and the environment act at the same point in steroid metabolism.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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