Detection of novel endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the water

D.A. Stavreva, L. Varticovski, G.L. Hager
National Cancer Institute, US

Keywords: angrogen, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, steroid contamination


There is a growing interest in the health risk posed by endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Detection and monitoring of water sources for steroidal EDCs relies on a laborious analysis of their chemical structures. It is also unknown whether EDCs detected by chemical methods elicit specific biological responses in mammalian systems. Biological screening for steroidal EDCs have not been performed. We developed a high-throughput assay for biological testing of EDCs using mammalian cells that express GFP-tagged nuclear steroid receptor constructs (Stavreva DA et al, 2012). This assay is based on translocation of a fluorescent marker from the cytoplasm to the nucleus in the presence of a ligand that interacts with a specific receptor. We screened water sources from 14 states in the US and found nearly 30% positive samples for androgen and glucocorticoid activities. Androst-4-en-3,6-dione was identified in one of the samples by HLC/MassSpec. Widespread contamination with steroidal EDCs is a possible health hazard. We are seeking partners to establish a global screening program, develop and market biological standards for safety and monitoring of water contamination with steroidal EDCs.