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: 31 August 2021.

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 papers will be 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 1600 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.


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

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: The effects of essential and non-essential metal contamination in the Drosophila melanogaster insect model: a review.
Authors: Mitchell R. Slobodian; Jesse Petahtegoose,; Athena Wallis; Danica Levesque; Thomas J.S. Merritt
Affiliation: Laurentian University
Abstract: The biological effects of environmental metal contamination are important issues for mining communities around the world. Metals are 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 in many species, including insects, common inhabitants of a variety of contaminated environments. Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model insect to study the effects of toxic metal ions due to its fully sequenced and annotated genome, wide range of molecular tools and resources, ease of access to wild populations of these flies, and reasonably well-characterized metal response system. Here we review the current understanding of the impact of a suite of essential and non-essential metals on the D. melanogaster metal response system, highlighting the knowledge gaps between non-essential and essential metals in D. melanogaster to help guide future research towards better understanding the effects of metal contamination in general.

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