Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

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

Cadmium and Oxidative Stress

  • Ann Cuypers
  • Tony Remans
  • Vangronsveld Jaco
  • Karen Smeets
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_30



Oxidative stress is a process in which the cellular redox balance between pro- and antioxidants is disturbed in favor of the former.


Cadmium (Cd) contamination is a widespread complication of industrial’s reliance on metals and the intensive use of agrochemicals containing Cd. Cadmium is not biodegradable, and therefore, the global environmental risk is constantly increasing due to its accumulation via the food chain. Furthermore, as Cd is classified as a type I carcinogenic element, it poses a serious threat to humans and animals but also other organisms, such as plants, fungi, and bacteria, present in all compartments of different ecosystems, are negatively affected by Cd.

Cadmium has a very high affinity for sulfhydryl (thiol) groups, and through binding with these functional groups of, for example, enzymes or structural proteins, it causes metabolic disruptions (Sharma and Dietz 2009; Cuypers et al. 2010...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Cannino G, Ferruggia E, Luparello C, Rinaldi AP (2009) Cadmium and mitochondria. Mitochondria 9:377–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cuypers A, Smeets K, Vangronsveld J (2009) Heavy metal stress in plants. In: Hirt H (ed) Plant stress biology: from genomics to systems biology. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, pp 161–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cuypers A, Plusquin M, Remans T, Jozefczak M, Keunen E, Gielen H, Opdenakker K, Nair AR, Munters E, Nawrot T, Vangronsveld J, Smeets K (2010) Cd stress: an oxidative challenge. Biometals 23:927–940CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. DalCorso G, Farinati S, Maistri S, Furini A (2008) How plants cope with cadmium: staking all on metabolism and gene expression. J Integr Plant Biol 50:1268–1280CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Halliwell B (2006) Reactive species and antioxidants. Redox biology is a fundamental theme of aerobic life. Plant Physiol 141:312–322.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Kucera T, Horakova H, Sonska A (2008) Toxic metal ions in photoautotrophic organisms. Photosynthetica 46:481–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Liu J, Qu W, Kadiiska MB (2009) Role of oxidative stress in cadmium toxicity and carcinogenesis. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 238:209–214CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Sharma SS, Dietz K-J (2009) The relationship between metal toxicity and cellular redox imbalance. Trends Plant Sci 14:43–50CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Templeton DM, Liu Y (2010) Multiple roles of cadmium in cell death and survival. Chem Biol Interact 188:267–275CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Thévenod F (2009) Cadmium and cellular signaling cascades: to be or not to be? Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 238:221–239CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Valko M, Rhodes CJ, Moncol J, Izakovic M, Mazur M (2006) Free radicals metals and antioxidants in oxidative stress-induced cancer. Chem Biol Interact 160:1–40CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann Cuypers
    • 1
  • Tony Remans
    • 1
  • Vangronsveld Jaco
    • 1
  • Karen Smeets
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Environmental SciencesHasselt UniversityDiepenbeekBelgium