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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2018 Dec 1;269:156-165. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2018.09.009. Epub 2018 Sep 19.

Bisphenol A induced abnormal DNA methylation of ovarian steroidogenic genes in rare minnow Gobiocypris rarus.

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College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China.
College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China. Electronic address:


Bisphenol A (BPA), an ubiquitous environmental endocrine disruptor chemical, disturbs the mRNA expressions of steroidogenic genes and subsequently steroid hormone synthesis in mammals and aquatic species. However, the underlying regulation mechanisms are barely understood, especially in fish. To explore the regulation mechanism, we exposed female rare minnow Gobiocypris rarus (G. rarus) to BPA at a nominal concentration of 15 μg/L for 7 and 14 days in the present study. Results showed significant increase of gonad somatic index (GSI) and serum estradiol (E2) levels in response to BPA at day 14. The 7-day BPA exposure notably repressed the expression of two ovarian steroidogenic genes (star and hsd11b2) and suppressed their capacity of estrogen response elements (ERE) to recruit estrogen receptor (ER), while the 14-day BPA treatment remarkably induced transcript of hsd3b and enhanced the capacity of ERE to recruitment ER in ovaries. Furthermore, the 7-day BPA exposure caused DNA hypermethylation of star (CpGs: -742 bp and -719 bp) and hsd11b2 (CpG: -1788 bp). However, 14-day BPA exposure resulted in DNA hypomethylation of hsd3b (CpG: -181 bp). Correlation analysis revealed that the DNA methylation levels at specific CpGs in star, hsd3b and hsd11b2 were significantly correlated to their mRNA levels and ER-EREs interactions. These findings suggest that the disturbed steroidogenesis and the transcripts of ovarian steroidogenic genes might attribute to the altered DNA methylation status of these ovarian steroidogenic genes in response to BPA.


Aquatic; Bisphenol A; Methylation; Steroidogenesis; Transcription factor

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