Title: Human metallothionein gene expression determined by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction as a biomarker of cadmium exposure.
Authors: Ganguly, S; Taioli, E; Baranski, B; Cohen, B; Toniolo, P; Garte, S J
Published In Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, (1996 Apr)
Abstract: Expression of the metallothionein (MT) gene in frozen human lymphocytes has been developed as a new molecular biomarker of heavy metal exposure. Workers at a Polish battery factory with high exposure to cadmium were monitored for airborne exposure and blood cadmium levels. A novel quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) technique, making use of a homologous internal standard, was used to assess the level of MT-specific mRNA in frozen stored aliquots of blood samples taken from exposed and control workers. Results from this assay showed a statistically significant 2.5-fold increase in MT mRNA in exposed compared to control workers. The RT-PCR results also showed significant correlation with airborne cadmium, as registered on personal monitors and with blood cadmium levels. The results suggest that gene induction measured by quantitative RT-PCR is a promising approach for application as a biomarker of biologically effective dose in small samples of frozen tissues or cells.
PubMed ID: 8722222
MeSH Terms: Base Sequence; Biological Markers/blood*; Blotting, Northern; Cadmium/adverse effects*; Cadmium/blood; Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects; Humans; Lymphocytes/metabolism; Male; Metallothionein/blood; Metallothionein/genetics*; Molecular Sequence Data; Occupational Diseases/blood; Occupational Diseases/chemically induced; Occupational Diseases/genetics*; Occupational Exposure/adverse effects*; Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods*; RNA, Messenger/analysis*; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.