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Bonding of Butylparaben, Bis(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate, and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid to DNA: Comparison with Benzo[a]pyrene Shows Low Probability for Strong Noncovalent DNA Intercalation

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posted on 29.11.2017, 18:43 by Sergio Manzetti
Parabens, phthalates, and perfluorinated compounds are pollutant compounds used in cosmetics, plastics, and fire-fighting foams. All three compounds have been studied over several years for toxicity mechanism; however, a clear view of their ability to bind to DNA has not been supplied empirically. In this work, a simulation study is done to reveal the interaction of three of these pollutants, bis­(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP), butylparaben (BPRB), and the protonated form of perfluoro­octanesulfonic acid (PFOS­(H)), with DNA. The results show that the DEHP, PFOS­(H), and BPRB bind with a probability of 1/5 to DNA, with respective bonding energies −23.96 kJ/mol (PFOS­(H)), −94.92 kJ/mol (BPRB), and −216.52 kJ/mol (DEHP). The positive control, benzo­[a]­pyrene diol epoxide (BAP), which is known for its notorious DNA intercalation, binds at a rate of 3/5 simulations, with bonding energies of −6544.52, −7034.66, and −7578.67 kJ/mol. The results are compared to empirical studies and conclusively show that all these pollutants can interfere with transcription and DNA related mechanisms by forming noncovalent interactions with DNA. The results show also that these pollutants are unlikely to undergo strong noncovalent intercalation to DNA, such as BAP, and do not possess the frontier orbital profiles to undergo adduct formation. After many years of research and several unanswered questions on the action of these pollutants on DNA, a calculation on their properties hence to the DNA confirms that there is a low probability for these to undergo a strong intercalation with DNA. Literature shows however that the pollutants are strongly interfering with the protein machinery and receptors on the cell surface and are therefore still priority pollutants for ecotoxicity research.

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