Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

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

Cadmium, Effect on Transport Across Cell Membranes

  • E. Van Kerkhove
  • V. Pennemans
  • Q. Swennen
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_29


Cadmium (Cd2+) is an ever-present and global environmental pollutant. Current industrial Cd2+ emission has been drastically reduced, but Cd2+ continues to be a health hazard (Nawrot et al. 2010). Historically, accumulated Cd2+ cannot be degraded, and its half-life in the body is long (10–30 years). Several organs are affected by this heavy metal. In general, long-term exposure studies show skeletal damage, lung disease, and lung cancer. Since 1993, Cd2+ has been classified as a group I carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The main target for chronic, low-level Cd2+ exposure, however, is the kidney. Cd2+ intoxication leads to proximal tubule dysfunction. The specific mechanisms, however, by which it produces adverse effects on the kidney, have yet to be fully unraveled. Next to reactive oxygen species (ROS) production (Cuypers et al. 2010), interference with gene expression, and repair of DNA (Hartwig 2010), Cd2+also interacts with transport...

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


  1. Bhattacharyya MH (2009) Cadmium osteotoxicity in experimental animals: mechanisms and relationship to human exposures. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 238:258–265CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Cuypers A, Plusquin M, Remans T et al (2010) Cadmium stress: an oxidative challenge. Biometals 23:927–940CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Hartwig A (2010) Mechanisms in cadmium-induced carcinogenicity: recent insights. Biometals 23:951–960CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Moulis JM (2010) Cellular mechanisms of cadmium toxicity related to the homeostasis of essential metals. Biometals 23:877–896CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Nawrot TS, Staessen JA, Roels HA et al (2010) Cadmium exposure in the population: from health risks to strategies of prevention. Biometals 23:769–782CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Prozialeck WC, Edwards JR (2010) Early biomarkers of cadmium exposure and nephrotoxicity. Biometals 23:793–809CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Prozialeck WC, Lamar PC, Lynch SM (2003) Cadmium alters the localization of N-cadherin, E-cadherin, and beta-catenin in the proximal tubule epithelium. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 189:180–195CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Sabolic I, Breljak D, Skarica M et al (2010) Role of metallothionein in cadmium traffic and toxicity in kidneys and other mammalian organs. Biometals 23:897–926CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Thevenod F (2010) Catch me if you can! Novel aspects of cadmium transport in mammalian cells. Biometals 23:857–875CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Van Kerkhove E, Pennemans V, Swennen Q (2010) Cadmium and transport of ions and substances across cell membranes and epithelia. Biometals 23:823–855CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Centre for Environmental SciencesHasselt UniversityDiepenbeekBelgium
  2. 2.Biomedical InstituteHasselt UniversityDiepenbeekBelgium