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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1457; doi:10.3390/ijms18071457

Biomphalaria glabrata Metallothionein: Lacking Metal Specificity of the Protein and Missing Gene Upregulation Suggest Metal Sequestration by Exchange Instead of through Selective Binding

1
Institute of Zoology and Center of Molecular Biosciences Innsbruck (CMBI), University of Innsbruck, Technikerstraße 25, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
2
Departament de Genètica, Microbiologia i Estadística and Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBio), Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 643, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain
3
Department of Chemistry, University of Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland
4
Departament de Química, Facultat de Ciències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
Deceased.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 29 June 2017 / Accepted: 1 July 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metallothioneins in Bioinorganic Chemistry: Recent Developments)
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Abstract

The wild-type metallothionein (MT) of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata and a natural allelic mutant of it in which a lysine residue was replaced by an asparagine residue, were recombinantly expressed and analyzed for their metal-binding features with respect to Cd2+, Zn2+ and Cu+, applying spectroscopic and mass-spectrometric methods. In addition, the upregulation of the Biomphalaria glabrata MT gene was assessed by quantitative real-time detection PCR. The two recombinant proteins revealed to be very similar in most of their metal binding features. They lacked a clear metal-binding preference for any of the three metal ions assayed—which, to this degree, is clearly unprecedented in the world of Gastropoda MTs. There were, however, slight differences in copper-binding abilities between the two allelic variants. Overall, the missing metal specificity of the two recombinant MTs goes hand in hand with lacking upregulation of the respective MT gene. This suggests that in vivo, the Biomphalaria glabrata MT may be more important for metal replacement reactions through a constitutively abundant form, rather than for metal sequestration by high binding specificity. There are indications that the MT of Biomphalaria glabrata may share its unspecific features with MTs from other freshwater snails of the Hygrophila family. View Full-Text
Keywords: metallothionein; metal-binding; zinc; copper; cadmium; Biomphalaria glabrata; Gastropoda; Hygrophila metallothionein; metal-binding; zinc; copper; cadmium; Biomphalaria glabrata; Gastropoda; Hygrophila
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MDPI and ACS Style

Niederwanger, M.; Calatayud, S.; Zerbe, O.; Atrian, S.; Albalat, R.; Capdevila, M.; Palacios, Ò.; Dallinger, R. Biomphalaria glabrata Metallothionein: Lacking Metal Specificity of the Protein and Missing Gene Upregulation Suggest Metal Sequestration by Exchange Instead of through Selective Binding. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1457.

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