Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

2013 Edition
| Editors: Robert H. Kretsinger, Vladimir N. Uversky, Eugene A. Permyakov

Cadmium Transport

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_25



Transport of cadmium ion across cellular membranes of eukaryotic cells through receptors, channels, solute carriers, or ATPases.


Cadmium is a toxic transition metal and has no biological function in eukaryotic organisms (with the exception of certain forms of marine phytoplankton). The toxicologically relevant chemical form of cadmium is the divalent cadmium ion (Cd2+). Cd2+ taken up by cells and organisms accumulates because it is eliminated very slowly (e.g., in the human kidney Cd2+ has a half-time of 10–30 years). Cd2+ binds to many cellular and/or extracellular proteins which store the metal and also partly contribute to its detoxification. Binding may be nonspecific and is characterized by a low affinity between Cd2+ and the protein, like serum albumin with an equilibrium dissociation constant (KD) of ∼10−4 M, or the interaction may be more specific by binding to certain amino acid residues, in particular...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.



Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (TH 345/8-1, 10-1, and 11-1), ZBAF, and Stiftung Westermann-Westdorp, Essen, Germany


  1. Bridges CC, Zalups RK (2005) Molecular and ionic mimicry and the transport of toxic metals. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 204:274–308CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Christensen EI, Verroust PJ, Nielsen R (2009) Receptor-mediated endocytosis in renal proximal tubule. Pflugers Arch 458:1039–1048CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Clarkson TW (1993) Molecular and ionic mimicry of toxic metals. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 33:545–571CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. De Stefani D, Raffaello A, Teardo E et al (2011) A forty-kilodalton protein of the inner membrane is the mitochondrial calcium uniporter. Nature 476:336–340CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Eide DJ (2004) The SLC39 family of metal ion transporters. Pflugers Arch 447:796–800CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. He L, Wang B, Hay EB et al (2009) Discovery of ZIP transporters that participate in cadmium damage to testis and kidney. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 238:250–257CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Kovacs G, Danko T, Bergeron MJ et al. (2011) Heavy metal cations permeate the TRPV6 epithelial cation channel. Cell Calcium 49:43–55CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. L’hoste S, Chargui A, Belfodil R et al (2009) CFTR mediates cadmium-induced apoptosis through modulation of ROS level in mouse proximal tubule cells. Free Radic Biol Med 46:1017–1031CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Langelueddecke C, Roussa E, Fenton RA et al (2012) The lipocalin-2 (24p3/NGAL) receptor is expressed in the distal nephron and mediates protein endocytosis. J Biol Chem 287:159–169CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Lee WK, Torchalski B, Kohistani N et al (2011) ABCB1 protects kidney proximal tubule cells against cadmium-induced apoptosis: Roles of cadmium and ceramide transport Toxicol Sci 121:343–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lee WK, Thévenod F (2006) A role for mitochondrial aquaporins in cellular life-and-death decisions? Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 291:C195–C202CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Levesque M, Martineau C, Jumarie C et al (2008) Characterization of cadmium uptake and cytotoxicity in human osteoblast-like MG-63 cells. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 231:308–317CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Mackenzie B, Hediger MA (2004) SLC11 family of H+−coupled metal-ion transporters NRAMP1 and DMT1. Pflugers Arch 447:571–579CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Moulis J-M (2010) Cellular mechanisms of cadmium toxicity related to the homeostasis of essential metals. Biometals 23:877–896CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Olivi L, Bressler J (2000) Maitotoxin stimulates Cd influx in Madin-Darby kidney cells by activating Ca-permeable cation channels. Cell Calcium 27:187–193CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Perez-Reyes E (2003) Molecular physiology of low-voltage-activated t-type calcium channels. Physiol Rev 83:117–161PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Ryu SY, Beutner G, Dirksen RT et al (2010) Mitochondrial ryanodine receptors and other mitochondrial Ca2+ permeable channels. FEBS Lett 584:1948–1955CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Thévenod F (2009) Cadmium and cellular signaling cascades: to be or not to be? Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 238:221–239CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Thévenod F (2010) Catch me if you can! Novel aspects of cadmium transport in mammalian cells. Biometals 23:857–875CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Waisberg M, Joseph P, Hale B et al (2003) Molecular and cellular mechanisms of cadmium carcinogenesis. Toxicology 192:95–117CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health, School of Medicine, Centre for Biomedical Training and Research (ZBAF), Institute of Physiology & PathophysiologyUniversity of Witten/HerdeckeWittenGermany