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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 2007; doi:10.3390/ijms18092007

Interference of Paraben Compounds with Estrogen Metabolism by Inhibition of 17β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases

Division of Molecular and Systems Toxicology, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 50, 4056 Basel, Switzerland
Computer-Aided Molecular Design Group, Institute of Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Center for Molecular Biosciences Innsbruck, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 80-82, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Research of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals)
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Parabens are effective preservatives widely used in cosmetic products and processed food, with high human exposure. Recent evidence suggests that parabens exert estrogenic effects. This work investigated the potential interference of parabens with the estrogen-activating enzyme 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17β-HSD) 1 and the estrogen-inactivating 17β-HSD2. A ligand-based 17β-HSD2 pharmacophore model was applied to screen a cosmetic chemicals database, followed by in vitro testing of selected paraben compounds for inhibition of 17β-HSD1 and 17β-HSD2 activities. All tested parabens and paraben-like compounds, except their common metabolite p-hydroxybenzoic acid, inhibited 17β-HSD2. Ethylparaben and ethyl vanillate inhibited 17β-HSD2 with IC50 values of 4.6 ± 0.8 and 1.3 ± 0.3 µM, respectively. Additionally, parabens size-dependently inhibited 17β-HSD1, whereby hexyl- and heptylparaben were most active with IC50 values of 2.6 ± 0.6 and 1.8 ± 0.3 µM. Low micromolar concentrations of hexyl- and heptylparaben decreased 17β-HSD1 activity, and ethylparaben and ethyl vanillate decreased 17β-HSD2 activity. However, regarding the very rapid metabolism of these compounds to the inactive p-hydroxybenzoic acid by esterases, it needs to be determined under which conditions low micromolar concentrations of these parabens or their mixtures can occur in target cells to effectively disturb estrogen effects in vivo. View Full-Text
Keywords: 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase; estrogen; xenobiotic; endocrine disrupting chemical; in silico; in vitro 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase; estrogen; xenobiotic; endocrine disrupting chemical; in silico; in vitro

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Engeli, R.T.; Rohrer, S.R.; Vuorinen, A.; Herdlinger, S.; Kaserer, T.; Leugger, S.; Schuster, D.; Odermatt, A. Interference of Paraben Compounds with Estrogen Metabolism by Inhibition of 17β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2007.

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