, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 887-896

First online:

Metal stoichiometry of isolated and arsenic substituted metallothionein: PIXE and ESI-MS study

  • Roobee GarlaAffiliated withDepartment of Biophysics, Panjab University Email author 
  • , Biraja P. MohantyAffiliated withDepartment of Biophysics, Panjab University
  • , Renuka GangerAffiliated withDepartment of Biophysics, Panjab University
  • , M. SudarshanAffiliated withUGC-DAE CSR-Kolkata Centre
  • , Mohinder P. BansalAffiliated withDepartment of Biophysics, Panjab University
  • , Mohan L. GargAffiliated withDepartment of Biophysics, Panjab University

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The stoichiometric analysis of the metal induced Metallothionein (MT) is pertinent for understanding the metal-MT interactions. Despite innumerable publications on MT, the literature addressing these aspects is limited. To bridge this gap, PIXE and ESI-MS analysis of the commercial rabbit liver MT1 (an isoform of MT), zinc induced isolated rat liver MT1, apo and Arsenic substituted rabbit liver MT1 have been carried out. These techniques in combination provide information about number and the signature of all the metal ions bound to MT. By using ESI-MS in the rabbit MT1, ions of Zn n MT1 (n = 0, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7) whereas, in rat MT1, the Zn1MT1 and Zn5MT1 ions are observed. PIXE analysis shows that some copper along with zinc is also present in the rabbit as well as rat MT1 which could not be assessed with ESI-MS. During As metallation reaction with rabbit MT1, with increase in arsenic concentration, the amount of arsenic bound to MT1 also increases, though not proportionally. The presence of both Zn and Cu in MT1 on Zn supplementation can be related to the role of MT in Zn and Cu homeostasis. Further, the presence of partially metallated MT1 suggests that MT1 may donate fractional amount of metal from it’s fully metallated form to other proteins where Zn acts as a cofactor.


Metallothionein Arsenic Zinc PIXE ESI-MS