Bisphenol A (BPA) is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant with established endocrine disruptor properties. The objective of our study was to determine the effects of prenatal exposure to BPA on the rat mammary gland proteome in postnatal rats as a first step toward the investigation of translational biomarkers of susceptibility in the human population. Pregnant rats were treated orally with 0, 25 or 250 microg BPA/kg body weight from days 10 to 21 post-conception. Female offspring were euthanized at 21 and 50 days, and mammary glands were collected. Proteomic analysis was conducted using 2-DE, followed by a combination of MALDI-TOF-TOF and LC-MS/MS, which led to the identification of 21 differentially abundant proteins including vimentin, SPARC and 14-3-3. Western blot analysis of key downstream signaling proteins demonstrated increased phospho-AKT, c-Raf, phospho-ERKs-1 and 2, but decreased TGF-beta in mammary glands of 50 day old rats exposed prenatally to BPA. Our studies indicate for the first time that key proteins involved in signaling pathways such as cellular proliferation are regulated at the protein level by BPA. This data is expected to aid in the understanding of how BPA may be influencing the susceptibility of the mammary gland to cancer transformation.
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