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Characterization of MtnE, the fifth metallothionein member in Drosophila


Atanesyan, L; Günther, V; Celniker, S E; Georgiev, O; Schaffner, W (2011). Characterization of MtnE, the fifth metallothionein member in Drosophila. Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, 16(7):1047-1056.

Abstract

Metallothioneins (MTs) constitute a family of cysteine-rich, low molecular weight metal-binding proteins which occur in almost all forms of life. They bind physiological metals, such as zinc and copper, as well as nonessential, toxic heavy metals, such as cadmium, mercury, and silver. MT expression is regulated at the transcriptional level by metal-regulatory transcription factor 1 (MTF-1), which binds to the metal-response elements (MREs) in the enhancer/promoter regions of MT genes. Drosophila was thought to have four MT genes, namely, MtnA, MtnB, MtnC, and MtnD. Here we characterize a new fifth member of Drosophila MT gene family, coding for metallothionein E (MtnE). The MtnE transcription unit is located head-to-head with the one of MtnD. The intervening sequence contains four MREs which bind, with different affinities, to MTF-1. Both of the divergently transcribed MT genes are completely dependent on MTF-1, whereby MtnE is consistently more strongly transcribed. MtnE expression is induced in response to heavy metals, notably copper, mercury, and silver, and is upregulated in a genetic background where the other four MTs are missing.

Metallothioneins (MTs) constitute a family of cysteine-rich, low molecular weight metal-binding proteins which occur in almost all forms of life. They bind physiological metals, such as zinc and copper, as well as nonessential, toxic heavy metals, such as cadmium, mercury, and silver. MT expression is regulated at the transcriptional level by metal-regulatory transcription factor 1 (MTF-1), which binds to the metal-response elements (MREs) in the enhancer/promoter regions of MT genes. Drosophila was thought to have four MT genes, namely, MtnA, MtnB, MtnC, and MtnD. Here we characterize a new fifth member of Drosophila MT gene family, coding for metallothionein E (MtnE). The MtnE transcription unit is located head-to-head with the one of MtnD. The intervening sequence contains four MREs which bind, with different affinities, to MTF-1. Both of the divergently transcribed MT genes are completely dependent on MTF-1, whereby MtnE is consistently more strongly transcribed. MtnE expression is induced in response to heavy metals, notably copper, mercury, and silver, and is upregulated in a genetic background where the other four MTs are missing.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:06 Sep 2011 13:41
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:59
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0949-8257
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s00775-011-0825-4
PubMed ID:21870250
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-49284

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