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Activation of RXR–PPAR heterodimers by organotin environmental endocrine disruptors

By Albane le Maire, Marina Grimaldi, Dominique Roecklin, Sonia Dagnino, Valérie Vivat-Hannah, Patrick Balaguer and William Bourguet


The nuclear receptor retinoid X receptor-α (RXR-α)–peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) heterodimer was recently reported to have a crucial function in mediating the deleterious effects of organotin compounds, which are ubiquitous environmental contaminants. However, because organotins are unrelated to known RXR-α and PPAR-γ ligands, the mechanism by which these compounds bind to and activate the RXR-α–PPAR-γ heterodimer at nanomolar concentrations has remained elusive. Here, we show that tributyltin (TBT) activates all three RXR–PPAR-α, -γ, -δ heterodimers, primarily through its interaction with RXR. In addition, the 1.9 Å resolution structure of the RXR-α ligand-binding domain in complex with TBT shows a covalent bond between the tin atom and residue Cys 432 of helix H11. This interaction largely accounts for the high binding affinity of TBT, which only partly occupies the RXR-α ligand-binding pocket. Our data allow an understanding of the binding and activation properties of the various organotins and suggest a mechanism by which these tin compounds could affect other nuclear receptor signalling pathways

Topics: Scientific Report
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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