Bisphenol A, an environmental oestrogenic chemical, was found to conjugate highly with glucuronic acid in male rat liver microsomes studied in vitro. In the various isoforms tested (1A1, 1A3, 1A5, 1A6, 1A7 and 2B1), glucuronidation of bisphenol A and of diethylstilboestrol, a synthetic crystalline compound possessing oestrogenic activity and known to be glucuronidated by liver microsomes, was catalysed by an isoform of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT), namely UGT2B1, which glucuronidates some endogenous androgens. UGT activity towards bisphenol A in liver microsomes and in UGT2B1 expressed in yeast AH22 cells (22.9 and 0.58 nmol/min per mg of microsomal proteins respectively) was higher than that towards diethylstilboestrol (75.0 and 4.66 pmol/min per mg of microsomal proteins respectively). UGT activities towards both bisphenol A and diethylstilboestrol were distributed mainly in the liver but were also observed at substantial levels in the kidney and testis. Northern blot analysis disclosed the presence of UGT2B1 solely in the liver, and about 65% of the male rat liver microsomal UGT activities towards bisphenol A were absorbed by the anti-UGT2B1 antibody. These results indicate that bisphenol A, in male rat liver, is glucuronidated by UGT2B1, an isoform of UGT.

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