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Health Impacts and Biomarkers of Prenatal Exposure to Methylmercury: Lessons from Minamata, Japan

Oxidative Stress in Methylmercury-Induced Cell Toxicity

Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA
Laboratory of Toxicology, Medical School, University of Crete, 71003 Heraklion, Greece
Department of Medical Elementology, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Moscow 150000, Russia
Laboratory of Biotechnology and Applied Bioelementology, Yaroslavl State University, Yaroslavl 150014, Russia
All-Russian Research Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (VILAR), Moscow 150000, Russia
Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis 88040-900, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Santa Maria, Santa Maria 97105-900, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxics 2018, 6(3), 47;
Received: 18 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mercury and Methylmercury Toxicology and Risk Assessment)
Methylmercury (MeHg) is a hazardous environmental pollutant, which elicits significant toxicity in humans. The accumulation of MeHg through the daily consumption of large predatory fish poses potential health risks, and the central nervous system (CNS) is the primary target of toxicity. Despite well-described neurobehavioral effects (i.e., motor impairment), the mechanisms of MeHg-induced toxicity are not completely understood. However, several lines of evidence point out the oxidative stress as an important molecular mechanism in MeHg-induced intoxication. Indeed, MeHg is a soft electrophile that preferentially interacts with nucleophilic groups (mainly thiols and selenols) from proteins and low-molecular-weight molecules. Such interaction contributes to the occurrence of oxidative stress, which can produce damage by several interacting mechanisms, impairing the function of various molecules (i.e., proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids), potentially resulting in modulation of different cellular signal transduction pathways. This review summarizes the general aspects regarding the interaction between MeHg with regulators of the antioxidant response system that are rich in thiol and selenol groups such as glutathione (GSH), and the selenoenzymes thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) and glutathione peroxidase (Gpx). A particular attention is directed towards the role of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway and the nuclear transcription factor NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in MeHg-induced redox imbalance. View Full-Text
Keywords: methylmercury; oxidative stress; molecular mechanisms methylmercury; oxidative stress; molecular mechanisms
MDPI and ACS Style

Antunes dos Santos, A.; Ferrer, B.; Marques Gonçalves, F.; Tsatsakis, A.M.; Renieri, E.A.; Skalny, A.V.; Farina, M.; Rocha, J.B.T.; Aschner, M. Oxidative Stress in Methylmercury-Induced Cell Toxicity. Toxics 2018, 6, 47.

AMA Style

Antunes dos Santos A, Ferrer B, Marques Gonçalves F, Tsatsakis AM, Renieri EA, Skalny AV, Farina M, Rocha JBT, Aschner M. Oxidative Stress in Methylmercury-Induced Cell Toxicity. Toxics. 2018; 6(3):47.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Antunes dos Santos, Alessandra, Beatriz Ferrer, Filipe Marques Gonçalves, Aristides M. Tsatsakis, Elisavet A. Renieri, Anatoly V. Skalny, Marcelo Farina, João B.T. Rocha, and Michael Aschner. 2018. "Oxidative Stress in Methylmercury-Induced Cell Toxicity" Toxics 6, no. 3: 47.

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