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FASEB J. 2002 Oct;16(12):1671-3. Epub 2002 Aug 21.

Low doses of the endocrine disruptor bisphenol-A and the native hormone 17beta-estradiol rapidly activate transcription factor CREB.

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Institute of Bioengineering, Miguel Hernández University, Campus of San Juan, Alicante 03550, Spain.


Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are hormone-like agents present in the environment that alter the endocrine system of wildlife and humans. Most EDCs have potencies far below those of the natural hormone 17beta-E2 when acting through the classic estrogen receptors (ERs). Here, we show that the environmental estrogen Bisphenol-A and the native hormone 17beta-E2 activate the transcription factor, cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB) with the same potency. Phosphorylated CREB (P-CREB) was increased after only a 5-minute application of either BPA or 17beta-E2 in a calcium-dependent manner. The effect was reproduced by the membrane-impermeable molecule E2 conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (E-HRP). The increase in P-CREB was not modified by the anti-estrogen ICI 182,780. Therefore, low-dose of BPA activates the transcription factor CREB via an alternative mechanism, involving a non-classical membrane estrogen receptor. Because these effects are elicited at concentrations as low as 10(-9) M, this observation is of environmental and public health relevance.

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