Interactions of arsenic with human metallothionein-2

Mitsutoshi Toyama, Mitsuo Yamashita, Noriaki Hirayama, Yoshikatsu Murooka

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Arsenic is a toxic element that is found in the atmosphere, as well as in aquatic and terrestrial environments. We have demonstrated that As3+ binds to human metallothionein-2 (hMT-2) by UV absorption spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). MALDI-TOF-MS revealed that the structure of the adduct formed by arsenic and hMT-2 (As-hMT-2) was not homogeneous. The maximum molar ratio of arsenic to hMT-2 was found to be more than 6:1 on ICP-AES, UV absorption spectroscopy and MALDI-TOF-MS. The ratio of the number of sulfhydryl groups in hMT-2 that bound arsenic was 3:1, which is the same as the ratios reported previously for arsenic-glutathione and arsenic-phytochelatin complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-221
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Arsenic
  • Heavy metal binding protein
  • Human metallothionein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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