Emerging evidence from epidemiological studies suggests a link between environmental chemical exposure and progression of aggressive breast cancer subtypes. Of all clinically distinct types of breast cancers, the most lethal phenotypic variant is inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR/HER2) along with estrogen receptor (ER) negativity is common in IBC tumor cells, which instead of a solid mass present as rapidly proliferating diffuse tumor cell clusters. Our previous studies have demonstrated a role of an adaptive response of increased antioxidants in acquired resistance to EGFR-targeting drugs in IBC. Environmental chemicals are known to induce oxidative stress resulting in perturbations in signal transduction pathways. It is therefore of interest to identify chemicals that can potentiate EGFR mitogenic effects in IBC. Herein, we assessed in ER-negative IBC cells a subset of chemicals from the EPA ToxCast set for their effect on EGFR activation and in multiple cancer phenotypic assays. We demonstrated that endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and 2,2-bis(p-hydroxyphenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane can increase EGFR/ERK signaling. BPA also caused a corresponding increase in expression of SOD1 and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2, key markers of antioxidant and anti-apoptotic processes. BPA potentiated clonogenic growth and tumor spheroid formation in vitro, reflecting IBC-specific pathological characteristics. Furthermore, we identified that BPA was able to attenuate the inhibitory effect of an EGFR targeted drug in a longer-term anchorage-independent growth assay. These findings provide a potential mechanistic basis for environmental chemicals such as BPA in potentiating a hyperproliferative and death-resistant phenotype in cancer cells by activating mitogenic pathways to which the tumor cells are addicted for survival.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting environmental contaminant used in a wide variety of products, and BPA metabolites are found in almost everyone’s urine, suggesting widespread exposure from multiple sources. Regulatory agencies estimate that virtually all BPA exposure is from food and beverage packaging. However, free BPA is applied to the outer layer of thermal receipt paper present in very high (∼20 mg BPA/g paper) quantities as a print developer. Not taken into account when considering thermal paper as a source of BPA exposure is that some commonly used hand sanitizers, as well as other skin care products, contain mixtures of dermal penetration enhancing chemicals that can increase by up to 100 fold the dermal absorption of lipophilic compounds such as BPA. We found that when men and women held thermal receipt paper immediately after using a hand sanitizer with penetration enhancing chemicals, significant free BPA was transferred to their hands and then to French fries that were eaten, and the combination of dermal and oral BPA absorption led to a rapid and dramatic average maximum increase (Cmax) in unconjugated (bioactive) BPA of ∼7 ng/mL in serum and ∼20 µg total BPA/g creatinine in urine within 90 min. The default method used by regulatory agencies to test for hazards posed by chemicals is intra-gastric gavage. For BPA this approach results in less than 1% of the administered dose being bioavailable in blood. It also ignores dermal absorption as well as sublingual absorption in the mouth that both bypass first-pass liver metabolism. The elevated levels of BPA that we observed due to holding thermal paper after using a product containing dermal penetration enhancing chemicals have been related to an increased risk for a wide range of developmental abnormalities as well as diseases in adults.
Bisphenol A (BPA), which is used in the manufacture of plastic food containers and refillable drinks bottles, dysregulates authophagy-regulated lipid metabolism in hepatocytes, according to new research published in Endocrinology.
from an article published on the European Chemicals Agency site:
In December 2016, the European Commission decided to restrict BPA in thermal paper in the EU. This ban will take effect in 2020, giving manufacturers, importers and users of thermal paper the time to phase it out and find an alternative.
As a result of the restriction, paper manufacturers will need to replace BPA with other dye developers. One potential replacement that is being considered by industry is the chemical Bisphenol S (BPS). However, concerns have been expressed that it may cause similar health problems to BPA. To make sure that one hazardous chemical is not being replaced by another, BPS is currently under substance evaluation and the European Commission has also asked ECHA to further investigate the use of BPS as a substitute for BPA in thermal paper.
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Bisphenol A (BPA, 2,2-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl) propane) is a widely used industrial chemical. The extensive distribution of BPA in the environment poses risks to humans. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying BPA toxicity as well as its effective detoxification and elimination are not well understood. We have investigated specifically for BPA the notion raised in the literature that the optimal sensing, detoxification, and elimination of xenobiotics requires retinoid (natural derivatives and synthetic analogs of vitamin A) actions. The objective of the study was to explore how retinoids, both those stored in the liver and those originating from recent oral intake, help maintain an optimal xenobiotic detoxification response, affecting mRNA expression and activities of elements of xenobiotic detoxification system upon BPA administration to mice. Wild-type and mice lacking hepatic retinoid stores (Lrat−/−) were acutely treated with BPA (50 mg/kg body weight), with or without oral supplementation with retinyl acetate. Hepatic mRNA expression levels of the genes encoding nuclear receptors and their downstream targets involved in xenobiotic biotransformation, phase I and phase II enzyme activities, and levels of oxidative damage to cellular proteins and lipids in hepatic microsomes, mitochondria and cytosol, were assessed. BPA treatment induced hepatic activities needed for its detoxification and elimination in wild-type mice. However, BPA failed to induce these activities in the livers of Lrat−/− mice. Oral supplementation with retinyl acetate restored phase I and phase II enzyme activities, but accelerated BPA-induced oxidative damage through enhancement of non-mitochondrial ROS production. Thus, the activities of the enzymes involved in the hepatic elimination of BPA require hepatic retinoid stores. The extent of hepatic damage that arises from acute BPA intoxication is directly affected by retinoid administration during the period of BPA exposure and hepatic retinoid stores that have accumulated over the lifetime of the organism.
A chemical found in plastics may put women exposed to it at greater risk of developing breast cancer, it seems. A study in mice has found that minute doses of the oestrogen-like substance increase breast tissue development, and higher density breast tissue is a risk factor for cancer.
Many hard plastics contain the compound bisphenol A, which can leach into food after heating. The chemical also appears in some dental fillings and the linings of tin cans. Industry began using bisphenol A in the 1950s, but in recent years scientists have documented how it mimics the hormone oestrogen.
Some scientists worry that because oestrogen plays such a crucial role in the development of a fetus’s reproductive system and other organs, exposure to bisphenol A in the womb could cause problems. A recent study of mice exposed in this way found that the artificial compound caused abnormally high levels of growth in the male animals’ prostate glands1.
Now, another team of researchers has investigated the effects of this chemical on female mice: the results are reported in the journal Endocrinology2.