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PLoS One. 2016 Sep 1;11(9):e0161948. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161948. eCollection 2016.

NMR WaterLOGSY Reveals Weak Binding of Bisphenol A with Amyloid Fibers of a Conserved 11 Residue Peptide from Androgen Receptor.

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Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC), INSERM U596, CNRS UMR 7104, Université de Strasbourg, Illkirch-Graffenstaden, France.


There is growing evidence that bisphenol A (BPA), a molecule largely released in the environment, has detrimental effects on ecosystems and on human health. It acts as an endocrine disruptor targeting steroid hormone receptors, such as the estrogen receptor (ER), estrogen-related receptor (ERR) and androgen receptor (AR). BPA-derived molecules have recently been shown to interact with the AR N-terminal domain (AR-NTD), which is known to be largely intrinsically disordered. This N-terminal domain contains an 11 residue conserved domain that forms amyloid fibers upon oxidative dimerisation through its strictly conserved Cys240 residue. We investigate here the interaction of BPA, and other potential endocrine disruptors, with AR-NTD amyloid fibers using the WaterLOGSY NMR experiment. We observed a selective binding of these compounds to the amyloid fibers formed by the AR-NTD conserved region and glutamine homopolymers. This observation suggests that the high potency of endocrine disruptors may result, in part, from their ability to bind amyloid forms of nuclear receptors in addition to their cognate binding sites. This property may be exploited to design future therapeutic strategies targeting AR related diseases such as the spinal bulbar muscular atrophy or prostate cancer. The ability of NMR WaterLOGSY experiments to detect weak interactions between small ligands and amyloid fibers may prove to be of particular interest for identifying promising hit molecules.

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