Ecdysteroid-mimicking compounds act as both agonists and antagonists to the crustacean ecdysone receptor
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AbstractTo characterize the potential endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the environment that interact with the crustacean ecdysone receptor (EcR), we established a method involving in silico modeling/molecular docking and in vitro reporter gene assay. Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina davidi) EcR (NdEcR) and retinoid X receptor (NdRxR) were identified and cloned for use in this method. A theoretical 3D model of NdEcR ligand-binding domain (LBD) was built in silico based on sequence homology with the established X-ray structure of insect EcR. The interaction of the NdEcR LBD with ecdysteroids, diacylhydrazine (DAH) pesticides, and other potential EDCs was evaluated using molecular docking programs. The results revealed that the ligand-binding pocket in the NdEcR LBD was flexible and adaptive for accommodating ligands of different shapes. The agonistic and antagonistic activities of the candidate compounds were further assessed by in vitro reporter gene assay using human cell lines transiently transfected with NdEcR and NdRxR expression plasmids and a reporter plasmid containing synthesized ecdysone response element. The assay was validated by the dose-dependent responses of EcR-mediated gene transcription after treating the transfected cell lines with ecdysteroids, 20-hydroxyecdysone, and ponasterone A. Examination of the candidate compounds using the reporter gene assay revealed restricted functional specificity to ecdysteroids and DAHs. Three of the tested DAH pesticides originally targeting the insect EcR were found to be weak agonists and strong antagonists of NdEcR. These results suggest that DAHs are potential EDCs for crustaceans that disrupt their ecdysteroid signals by functioning as EcR agonists or antagonists.
All Author(s) ListYuk Hang Chan, Ka Hou Chu, King Ming Chan
Journal nameChemosphere
Volume Number237
Article number124551
LanguagesEnglish-United States
KeywordsEcdysteroid, Ecdysone receptor, Reporter gene assay, In silico modelling, Molecular docking

Last updated on 2020-03-08 at 01:26