Endocrine disruption is a phenomenon when a man-made or natural compound interferes with normal hormone function in human or animal body systems. Endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) have assumed considerable importance as a result of industrial activity, mass production of synthetic chemicals and environmental pollution. Phthalate plasticizers are a group of chemicals used widely and diversely in industry especially in the plastic industry, and many of the phthalate compounds have endocrine-disrupting properties. Increasing evidence indicates that steroid nuclear receptors and steroid binding proteins are the main targets of endocrine disruption. Corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) is a steroid binding protein that binds and transports cortisol in the blood circulation and is a potential target for endocrine disruption. An imbalance of cortisol in the body leads to many health problems. Induced fit docking of nine important and environmentally relevant phthalate plasticizers (DMP, BBP, DBP, DIBP, DnHP, DEHP, DINP, DnOP, DIDP) showed interactions with 10-19 amino acid residues of CBG. Comparison of the interacting residues of CBG with phthalate ligands and cortisol showed an overlapping of the majority (53-82%) of residues for each phthalate. Five of nine phthalate compounds and cortisol shared a hydrogen bonding interaction with the Arg-252 residue of CBG. Long-chain phthalates, such as DEHP, DINP, DnOP and DIDP displayed a higher binding affinity and formed a number of interactions with CBG in comparison to short-chain phthalates. The similarity in structural binding characteristics of phthalate compounds and native ligand cortisol suggested potential competitive conflicts in CBG-cortisol binding function and possible disruption of cortisol and progesterone homeostasis. Phthalates as endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDC) have assumed considerable importance as a result of environmental pollution. Corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) transports cortisol in the blood circulation and is a potential target for endocrine disruption. An imbalance of cortisol in the body leads to many health problems. Induced fit docking of important phthalate plasticizers revealed similarity in structural binding characteristics of phthalate compounds and native ligand cortisol. These results suggest competitive conflicts in CBG-cortisol binding function and potential disruption of cortisol homeostasis.
Environmental Studies--Toxicology And Environmental Safety; Health problems; Receptors; Similarity; Hormones; Hydrocortisone; Binding; Amino acids; Phthalates; Protein transport; Homeostasis; Receptor mechanisms; Blood circulation; Mass production; Plasticizers; Bonding; Endocrine disruptors; Hydrogen bonding; Chemical bonds; Plastics; Docking; Proteins; Globulins; Pollution; Disruption; Residues; Progesterone; Chemicals; Ligands; Chemical industry; Corticoids; Nuclear receptors; Conflicts; Plastic pollution