, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 236-244
Date: 05 May 2005

Small Metallothionein MT-10 Genes in Coastal and Hydrothermal Mussels

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Metallothioneins (MTs) are important proteins in the intracellular regulation of metals. In the Mytilidae family, which includes many economically important species, 2 major forms of MTs have been reported: MT-10 (10 kDa) and MT-20 (20 kDa). Many different MT-10 proteins have been isolated from the common species Mytilus edulis, which suggests that distinct MT-10 genes may occur in a single specimen. Some MT genes, involving 3 exons and 2 large introns, have been isolated in Mytilidae. Our aim was to determine whether intron-free forms of the MT-10 genes can exist, which could allow rapid transcription in response to exposure to metals. Our study focused on 2 species living under very different environmental conditions: Mytilus edulis (a coastal mussel) and Bathymodiolus thermophilus (a hydrothermal mussel). We report here the first description of small, intron-free MT-10 genes, possessing a correct open reading frame in these 2 species.