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Pesticides, organochlorine (insect-killing chemicals)

See the last sentence...tying together the retinoic acid receptor activity with the major increases in birth defects (teratogenicity) being seen in developing countries.  The pesticides are NOT Poison/"Vitamin A", yet they are causing one of the same major side effects that Poison/"Vitamin A" does (birth defects).  This problem is avoided by eating organic and avoiding pesticides as much as possible in your environment.

Activation of retinoic acid receptor-dependent transcription by organochlorine pesticides.

Five organochlorine pesticides, namely, chlordane, dieldrin, aldrin, endrin, and endosulfan, activate human retinoic acid receptor (RAR)-mediated gene transcription via a retinoic acid response element (RARE). Transactivation studies were performed with stable RARalpha, beta, or gamma reporter cell lines in which the RAR DNA-binding domain (DBD) was replaced by that of estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha). Five of the organochlorine pesticides tested activated RARbeta and RARgamma but not RARalpha; their half-maximal luciferase activity (EC(50)) was determined. Furthermore, that activity was RAR-specific and organochlorine pesticides did not activate the retinoid X receptor (RXR) pathway. However, competitive binding experiments with [(3)H]-CD367, a pan-RAR agonist, showed that only chlordane could bind RARbeta and RARgamma, albeit with low affinity. In addition, organochlorine pesticides strongly induce cytochrome P450RAI1 (P450RAI1), a key factor of retinoic acid level regulation in many tissues and whose expression and activity are strongly induced by retinoic acid. This study shows that organochlorine pesticides can activate two RAR homologues, with low-binding affinity. Although the agonistic potential of organochlorine pesticides is lower than that of (E)-4-[2-(5,6,7,8-tetrahydro-5,5,8,8-tetramethyl-2-naphthalenyl)-1-propenyl] benzoic acid (TTNPB), they are able to induce RAR-mediated gene transcription as P450RAI1 and may disrupt the retinoid signaling pathway. Because these chemicals are extremely persistent and tend to accumulate in biological tissues, these results support the hypothesis that the increase in teratogenicity observed in some developing countries could be due to prolonged exposure to organochlorine pesticides ubiquitously present in the environment.
Dr. Garrett Smith, the "Nutrition Detective"
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