Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

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

Cadmium and Metallothionein

  • Ivan SabolićEmail author
  • Davorka Breljak
  • Carol M. Herak-Kramberger
  • Marija Ljubojević
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_27



Cadmium (Cd) is a nonessential metal which is an important environmental pollutant, heavily toxic to the living world. In mammals, the major target organs of Cd are liver and kidneys, in which the toxicity is closely connected with the expression of metallothioneins (MTs), a family of small, cysteine-rich metal-binding proteins with Cd detoxification, antioxidative, and antiapoptotic functions. In the liver, Cd binds to the endogenous and/or de novo synthesized MTs and accumulates as an inert CdMT complex. This complex is released into circulation from the intoxicated cells and reaches the kidney, where it is filtered, endocytosed by the proximal tubule epithelium, and degraded. The liberated Cd binds to the endogenous and newly synthesized MTs and...

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This work was supported by grant 022-0222148-2146 from Ministry for Science, Education and Sports, Republic of Croatia (I.S.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivan Sabolić
    • 1
    Email author
  • Davorka Breljak
    • 1
  • Carol M. Herak-Kramberger
    • 1
  • Marija Ljubojević
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit of Molecular ToxicologyInstitute for Medical Research and Occupational HealthZagrebCroatia