Endocrine Disruption in the Omics Era: New Views, New Hazards, New Approaches

The Open Biotechnology Journal 31 Mar 2016 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874070701610010020


The genome revolution has brought about a complete change on our view of biological systems. The quantitative determination of changes in all the major molecular components of the living cells, the "omics" approach, opened whole new fields for all health sciences, including toxicology. Endocrine disruption, i.e., the capacity of anthropogenic pollutants to alter the hormonal balance of the organisms, is one of the fields of Ecotoxicology in which omics has a relevant role. In the first place, the discovery of scores of potential targets in the genome of almost any Metazoan species studied so far, each of them being a putative candidate for interaction with endocrine disruptors. In addition, the understanding that ligands, receptors, and their physiological functions suffered fundamental variations during animal evolution makes it necessary to assess disruption effects separately for each major taxon. Fortunately, the same deal of knowledge on genes and genomes powered the development of new high-throughput techniques and holistic approaches. Genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and others, together with appropriate prediction and modeling tools, will mark the future of endocrine disruption assessment both for wildlife and humans.

Keywords: Chemicals, endocrine disruption, hormone, metabolomics, proteomics, risk assessment, transcriptomics.
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