2013 Volume 38 Issue 5 Pages 697-702
Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and sodium dodecyl benzenesulfonate (SDBS) are widely used anionic surfactants in household, industrial, and institutional cleaners. Although there are many reports of their toxic effects, few studies have focused on the pharmacological properties of these surfactants. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ is a transcriptional factor belonging to the nuclear receptor superfamily. The ligands of PPARγ regulate its transcriptional activity and modulate many biological functions, including adipocyte differentiation and lipid metabolism. In this study, we investigated the ligand activities of SDS and SDBS for nuclear receptors using time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based coactivator recruitment assays. SDS and SDBS showed selective ligand activities for PPARγ and these ligand activities were eliminated by a PPARγ antagonist. SDS and SDBS also promoted adipocyte differentiation accompanied by upregulation of adipocyte-specific gene expression in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. These findings reveal novel actions of anionic alkyl surfactants as PPARγ ligands.