Special Issue "Heavy Metal Exposure and Gene Expression"

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Toxicology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 1984

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Renata Swiergosz-Kowalewska
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian Univercity, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków, Poland
Interests: heavy metals; pesticides; metallothionein; MT gene expression; detoxifying molecules and processes and enzymes activities

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Despite the global reduction of heavy metal emissions during the last few decades, metal contamination problems still exist in some areas. Metals are often present in the environment as part of chemical contamination mixtures, together with such substances as pesticides, organic and non-organic substances, and dust particles. Furthermore, the effects of metals on organisms may be modified by physical factors on the various paths of metal toxicities. Because metals are not degradable, they are persistent environmental pro-oxidants and can produce a wide variety of detrimental effects in organisms – including oxidative damage to DNA, proteins, and lipids. DNA appears to be the most important target of metal toxicity and gene expression may be disturbed at different steps. On the other hand, some metals, for example, zinc or cadmium, can induce several gene expressions.

For this Special Issue we invite contributions that will address different aspects, such as (a) discussing effects of metals on DNA structure that can cause gene expression disturbance; (b) showing inhibition or induction of genes involved in detoxifying processes; (c) recognizing and discussing effects of metals on other molecules that take part in normal gene expression (d) exploring physical factors of this type of toxicity; (e) showing how gene expression disturbance can affect organism and population levels, as well as other aspects not mentioned in this summary. Contributions that present data obtained in field studies or wild populations are also welcome.

Authors are welcome to submit original research papers, reviews, and short communications. We hope to provide a broad overview of the current work being performed in the field of the effects of heavy metals on gene expressions.

Dr. Renata Swiergosz-Kowalewska
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • heavy metals
  • toxicity
  • genes
  • gene expression
  • physical factors
  • DNA
  • detoxifying processes
  • mixture of toxicants

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Article
Disrupted Sleep Homeostasis and Altered Expressions of Clock Genes in Rats with Chronic Lead Exposure
Toxics 2021, 9(9), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9090217 - 10 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Sleep disturbance is one of the neurobehavioral complications of lead neurotoxicity. The present study evaluated the impacts of chronic lead exposure on alteration of the sleep–wake cycle in association with changes of clock gene expression in the hypothalamus. Sprague–Dawley rats with chronic lead [...] Read more.
Sleep disturbance is one of the neurobehavioral complications of lead neurotoxicity. The present study evaluated the impacts of chronic lead exposure on alteration of the sleep–wake cycle in association with changes of clock gene expression in the hypothalamus. Sprague–Dawley rats with chronic lead exposure consumed drinking water that contained 250 ppm of lead acetate for five weeks. Electroencephalography and electromyography were recorded for scoring the architecture of the sleep–wake cycle in animals. At six Zeitgeber time (ZT) points (ZT2, ZT6, ZT10, ZT14, ZT18, and ZT22), three clock genes, including rPer1, rPer2, and rBmal1b, were analyzed. The rats with chronic lead exposure showed decreased slow wave sleep and increased wakefulness in the whole light period (ZT1 to ZT12) and the early dark period (ZT13 to ZT15) that was followed with a rebound of rapid-eye-movement sleep at the end of the dark period (ZT22 to ZT24). The disturbance of the sleep–wake cycle was associated with changes in clock gene expression that was characterized by the upregulation of rPer1 and rPer2 and the feedback repression of rBmal1b. We concluded that chronic lead exposure has a negative impact on the sleep–wake cycle in rats that predominantly disrupts sleep homeostasis. The disruption of sleep homeostasis was associated with a toxic effect of lead on the clock gene expression in the hypothalamus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metal Exposure and Gene Expression)
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Review

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Review
The Effects of Essential and Non-Essential Metal Toxicity in the Drosophila melanogaster Insect Model: A Review
Toxics 2021, 9(10), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9100269 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 797
Abstract
The biological effects of environmental metal contamination are important issues in an industrialized, resource-dependent world. Different metals have different roles in biology and can be classified as essential if they are required by a living organism (e.g., as cofactors), or as non-essential metals [...] Read more.
The biological effects of environmental metal contamination are important issues in an industrialized, resource-dependent world. Different metals have different roles in biology and can be classified as essential if they are required by a living organism (e.g., as cofactors), or as non-essential metals if they are not. While essential metal ions have been well studied in many eukaryotic species, less is known about the effects of non-essential metals, even though essential and non-essential metals are often chemically similar and can bind to the same biological ligands. Insects are often exposed to a variety of contaminated environments and associated essential and non-essential metal toxicity, but many questions regarding their response to toxicity remain unanswered. Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent insect model species in which to study the effects of toxic metal due to the extensive experimental and genetic resources available for this species. Here, we review the current understanding of the impact of a suite of essential and non-essential metals (Cu, Fe, Zn, Hg, Pb, Cd, and Ni) on the D. melanogaster metal response system, highlighting the knowledge gaps between essential and non-essential metals in D. melanogaster. This review emphasizes the need to use multiple metals, multiple genetic backgrounds, and both sexes in future studies to help guide future research towards better understanding the effects of metal contamination in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metal Exposure and Gene Expression)
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