Previously we have shown that E2 down regulates S-COMT expression. Here the effects of four phthalate esters and 4-(tertoctyl) phenol on the intra-cellular levels of S-COMT and COMT activity were studied in MCF-7 cells as a measure of estrogenic activity of these compounds. The four phthalate esters caused significant reductions in both S-COMT protein and COMT activity levels. These effects were inhibited by the ERα receptor antagonist ICI182780. 4-(tert-octyl)phenol also caused reductions in these parameters, but the effects were not abolished by ICI182780. Assay of S-COMT protein levels represents a simple and convenient method of assessing the estrogenic potential of a compound.
Keywords: COMT, plasticiser, phthalate, endocrine disruption, estrogen
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