Estrogenic endocrine disruptors: Molecular mechanisms of action

Environ Int. 2015 Oct:83:11-40. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2015.05.012. Epub 2015 Jun 11.


A comprehensive summary of more than 450 estrogenic chemicals including estrogenic endocrine disruptors is provided here to understand the complex and profound impact of estrogen action. First, estrogenic chemicals are categorized by structure as well as their applications, usage and effects. Second, estrogenic signaling is examined by the molecular mechanism based on the receptors, signaling pathways, crosstalk/bypassing and autocrine/paracrine/homeostatic networks involved in the signaling. Third, evaluation of estrogen action is discussed by focusing on the technologies and protocols of the assays for assessing estrogenicity. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of estrogen action is important to assess the action of endocrine disruptors and will be used for risk management based on pathway-based toxicity testing.

Keywords: Endocrine disruptor; Estrogen action; Molecular mechanism; Signal transduction; Techonology; Toxicity pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endocrine Disruptors / metabolism*
  • Endocrine Disruptors / toxicity*
  • Estrogens / metabolism*
  • Estrogens / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*


  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Estrogens