Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

EMSG10: Do Industrial Oestrogens or Their Metabolites Influence Male Reproductive Function?

Principal Investigator

Dr. Chris Kirk
University of Birmingham
UK – B15 2TT Birmingham
Tel: +44 121 4145414
Fax: +44 121 4146840


Dr. Philip Hughes – University of Birmingham
Dr. Rosemary Waring – University of Birmingham


The objective of the study was to investigate if alkylphenols, which had been shown to bind to oestrogen receptors, might also influence the catabolism and bioavailablity of natural oestrogens by acting as substrates and/or inhibitors of phenolsulphotransferase activity. The results showed that short chain alkylphenols are substrates while longer chain alkylphenols (octyl- and nonylphenol) are poor substrates but potent inhibitors of the phenol-sulphating-sulphotransferase (SULT1A1/2). This enzyme may be of particular importance to oestrogen metabolism in breast tumour cells. Overall the data showed that some alkylphenols may influence oestrogen sulphation and hence excretion by acting as either inhibitors or substrates of phenolsulphotransferase enzymes. 

Related Publications

Kirk CJ, Waring RH, Harris RM and Hughes PJ. Sulfation of estrogenic alkylphenols and 17 beta-estradiol by human platelet phenol sulfotransferases. Journal of Biological Chemistry : Vol. 275, Issue 1:159-166, 7 January 2000.

LRI funding: €54,000

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