Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent environmental pollutants which exert a variety of toxic effects in animals, including disturbances of sexual development and reproductive function. The estrogenic effects of PCBs may be mediated in part by hydroxylated PCB metabolites (PCB-OHs), but the mechanisms by which they are brought about are not understood. PCBs as well as PCB-Hs show low affinities for both alpha and beta estrogen receptor isoforms. In the present study we demonstrate that various environmentally relevant PCB-OHs are extremely potent inhibitors of human estrogen sulfotransferase, strongly suggesting that they indirectly induce estrogenic activity by increasing estradiol bioavailability in target tissues.
Kester, M. H. A., Bulduk, S., Tibboel, D., Meinl, W., Glatt, H., Falany, C. N., ... Visser, T. J. (2000). Potent inhibition of estrogen sulfotransferase by hydroxylated PCB metabolites: a novel pathway explaining the estrogenic activity of PCBs. Endocrinology, 141(5), 1897-1900. https://doi.org/10.1210/endo.141.5.7530