Heyman, "There is great potential in the advancement of therapeutics arising from research on endocrine signaling
pathways that govern metabolic homeostasis, and Metacrine is poised to make an impact in advancing some novel therapies in this area.
To effectively evaluate a chemical's potential for endocrine disruption, a testing protocol must be able to measure hormone-like effects or perturbations at very low chemical doses, as well as to take into account the many possible ways the chemical may interact with endocrine signaling
Recent data have shown that many of the same synthetic and natural environmental chemicals that disrupt endocrine signaling in vertebrates also disrupt phytoestrogen-NodD receptor signaling in soil bacteria, which is necessary for nitrogen-fixing symbiosis.
In fact, a wide variety of natural and synthetic chemicals exist in the environment that mimic hormones and disrupt endocrine signaling in vertebrates through interaction with various nuclear receptors and signal transducer proteins, including the estrogen receptor (ER), orphan receptors, and the thyroid receptor (Cheek et al.
Environmental compounds, including phytoestrogens, fungal chemicals, insecticides, herbicides, plasticizers, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), were chosen because of their ability to disrupt endocrine signaling in vertebrates, humans, and exposed wildlife as reported in numerous scientific reports over the past 60 years (Bennetts et al.
Studies of analogous signaling methods used by a number of organisms may shed light on endocrine signaling and human health.
Our data present the first evidence that some of the same organochlorine pesticides and EDCs known to disrupt endocrine signaling through ERs in exposed wildlife and humans also disrupt the phytoestrogen signaling that leguminous plants use to recruit Sinorhizobium meliloti soil bacteria for symbiotic nitrogen fixation.
Our data have outlined the previously unrecognized parallel disruption of vertebrate endocrine signaling and plant--bacterial symbiotic signaling by a group of EDCs.