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Endocrine Disrupting Potency And Toxicity Of Novel Sophorolipid Quaternary Ammonium Salts

Ewa Liwarska-Bizukojc, Christian V. Stevens, Elisabeth I. P. Delbeke, Kevin M. Van Geem

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AbstractA new class of biosurfactants, namely quaternary ammonium sophorolipids (SQAS), suitable for pharmaceutical applications, was tested for the evaluation of their (anti)estrogenic and (anti)androgenic potency with the help of YES/YAS assays. Also their toxicity towards yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and bacteria (Escherichia coli) was checked. The results achieved for SQAS, which can be regarded as potential micropollutants, were compared with those obtained for two well-known micropollutants diclofenac and 17α-ethinylestradiol subjected to the same testing procedures. This work demonstrated that acetylation of the hydroxyl group of the carbohydrate head of SQAS decreased the toxicity of this class of biosurfactants towards Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Furthermore, it contributed to the decrease of their endocrine disrupting potency. None of the SQAS studied showed clear agonist activity for female or male hormones. SQAS1 and SQAS2 revealed weak antiestrogenic and antiandrogenic potency. All of these properties were weaker, not only to the potency of the appropriate positive control in the antagonists bioassays, but also compared to the potency of other tested compounds, i.e. DCF and EE2. SQAS3 possessed most probably inhibitory activity towards male hormones. Moreover, cytotoxicity of two out of four studied SQAS at the highest concentrations towards the strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae interfered with the endocrine disruption activity. It would be also worth studying it with the use of another endocrine activity test.