Relationship between metal pollution and gene expression of insulin-like growth factor II

Document Type



Background. Metals pollution plays an important role in the regulation of gene expression through interference with signal transduction pathways which are important for cell bioactivity. Objectives. The present study was conducted to estimate metallothionein levels in mussels as a biomarker of exposure to heavy metals in order to monitor the pollution of Abu Qir Bay, Egypt (El-Maadiya region) and to evaluate the impact of heavy metals on human health by examining insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-2) gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Methods. One hundred and forty mussel samples (Andara dulofii) were collected from Abu-Qir Bay, stored in bags, preserved in an ice box, and then transported to the laboratory to acclimatize at 20°C for three days in ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA)-free synthetic sea water to determine the presence of metallothionein and five other metals (cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn)). Results. Results showed that mussels collected from the study area contained a measurable amount of metallothionein. In addition, results revealed an increased level of malondialdehyde coinciding with a decreased level of antioxidants, leading to oxidative stress in local fishermen. Conclusions. The present data demonstrated a significant increase in the gene expression of IGF-2 and a positive correlation between IGF-2 gene expression and the enzymatic activity of glutathione peroxidase in male subjects. Participant Consent. Obtained Ethics Approval. Written consent was provided by the study participants and study approval was given by the ethics committee of Alexandria University (US Department of Health and Human Services, Registration of an Institutional Review Board, IORG0008812 Medical Research Institute, Expires 4/8/2019, OMB No:0990-0279). Competing Interests. The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Publication Date



Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Technology

Subject Area

Physical Sciences, General Environmental Science, Health Sciences, General Medicine

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Indexed in Web Of Science







Glutathione peroxidase, Heavy metal contamination, Insulin-like growth factor II