Volume 34 of the series Experientia Supplementum pp 197-204

Physiological and Chemical Characterization of Invertebrate Metallothionein-Like Proteins

  • R. W. OlafsonAffiliated withAustralian Institute of Marine Science
  • , R. G. SimAffiliated withAustralian Institute of Marine Science
  • , A. KearnsAffiliated withAustralian Institute of Marine Science

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Metallothionein-like proteins have been isolated from marine invertebrates. Three crustaceans, Scyllus serratus, Cancer magister and Acetes sibogae together with a mollusc, Cryptochiton stelleri, have been investigated. S. serratus hepatopancreas was shown to contain cadmium and zinc inducible metallothionein-like proteins with an amino acid analysis very similar to vertebrate metallothioneins. The molecular weight, ultra-violet spectrum and isoelectric points of S. serratus metallothioneins are also comparable to the vertebrate proteins, suggesting a fundamental biological function conserved throughout evolution.