In vitro assessment of thyroid hormone receptor activity of four organophosphate esters

Xiaomin Ren , Linying Cao , Yu Yang , Bin Wan , Sufang Wang , Lianghong Guo


Received 2015-09-16,Revised 2015-11-03, Accepted 2015-12-03, Available online 2016-02-16

Volume 28,2016,Pages 185-190

Previous animal experiments have implied that organophosphate esters (OPEs) have a disruption effect on the thyroid endocrine system. However, knowledge of the toxicological mechanism remains limited. In this study, the activities of four OPEs have been characterized against the thyroid hormone (TH) nuclear receptor (TR) using two in vitro models, with the aim of evaluating their toxicity mechanisms towards the TR. The results of a TH-dependent cell proliferation assay showed that tris(2-chloro-1-(chloromethyl)ethyl)phosphate (TDCPP) could induce cell growth, while the other three OPEs had no effect. The results of a luciferase reporter gene assay revealed that all four of the OPEs tested in the current study showed agonistic activity towards TRβ, with TDCPP being the most potent one. Moreover, molecular docking revealed that all the tested OPEs could fit into the ligand binding pocket of TRβ, with TDCPP binding more effectively than the other three OPEs. Taken together, these data suggest that OPEs might disrupt the thyroid endocrine system via a mechanism involving the activation of TR.

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