Role of intracellular defense factors against methylmercury toxicity

Gi Wook Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Methylmercury (MeHg) is a causative agent of Minamata disease and an environmental pollutant that comprises a large portion of organically occurring mercury. Many aspects of the biological defense mechanisms against MeHg toxicity remain unclear. Recently, nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), heat shock factor protein 1 (Hsf1), and hydrogen sulfide were identified as intracellular defense factors against MeHg toxicity. These findings suggest that novel biological defense mechanisms against MeHg toxicity exist in the living organism. In addition, the expression of downstream genes that mediate activation of the transcription factors Nrf2 and Hsf1 was markedly induced by MeHg treatment, suggesting that this action is involved in the reduction of MeHg toxicity. On the other hand, when the gaseous form of hydrogen sulfide (H 2S) binds directly to MeHg, bismethylmercury sulfide (MeHg-S-HgMe) as a low toxicity metabolite is formed. This suggests the involvement of the gaseous form of H2S in the reduction of MeHg toxicity. In this topic, we summarize the roles of factors involved in novel biological defense mechanisms against MeHg toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1881-1884
Number of pages4
JournalBiological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Volume35
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov

Keywords

  • Heat shock factor protein 1
  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Methylmercury
  • Nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Role of intracellular defense factors against methylmercury toxicity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this