Phthalates are a class of plasticizers that have been characterized as endocrine disrupters, and are associated with genital diseases, cardiotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, and nephrotoxicity in the GeneOntology gene/protein database. In this study, we synthesized phthalic acid chemical probes and demonstrated differing protein–protein interactions between MCF-7 cells and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines. Phthalic acid chemical probes were synthesized using silicon dioxide particle carriers, which were modified using the silanized linker 3-aminopropyl triethoxyslane (APTES). Incubation with cell lysates from breast cancer cell lines revealed interactions between phthalic acid and cellular proteins in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. Subsequent proteomics analyses indicated 22 phthalic acid-binding proteins in both cell types, including heat shock cognate 71-kDa protein, ATP synthase subunit beta, and heat shock protein HSP 90-beta. In addition, 21 MCF-7-specific and 32 MDA-MB-231 specific phthalic acid-binding proteins were identified, including related proteasome proteins, heat shock 70-kDa protein, and NADPH dehydrogenase and ribosomal correlated proteins, ras-related proteins, and members of the heat shock protein family, respectively.
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