Mechanisms for the Biosynthesis and Neurotoxicity of Methylmercury

  • John M. Wood


Before the evolution of organic systems on this planet, dynamic equilibria for inorganic species in the earth’s crust were already important. Upon this inorganic matrix cycles evolved to produce organometallic intermediates many of which proved to be important in the subsequent catalytic reactions of living systems. It is not surprising that metals should form the backbone for so many natural catalytic processes. Witness the importance of zinc in DNA polymerase, and cobalt in the B12-dependent enzyme ribonucleotide reductase. In this lecture I shall try to review what is known about metabolic cycles for some elements which are regarded as toxic to higher organisms, and I shall present evidence pertaining to the principles for bio-accumulation and neurotoxicity of these elements.


Vinyl Ether Methyl Cobalamin High Resolution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Mercury Cycle Methylmercury Chloride 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.Freshwater Biological Research Institute, College of Biological SciencesUniversity of MinnesotaNavarreUSA

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