Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Molecular Pathways Associated With Methylmercury-Induced Nrf2 Modulation.

Authors: Unoki, Takamitsu; Akiyama, Masahiro; Kumagai, Yoshito; Gonçalves, Filipe Marques; Farina, Marcelo; da Rocha, João Batista Teixeira; Aschner, Michael

Published In Front Genet, (2018)

Abstract: Methylmercury (MeHg) is a potent neurotoxin that affects particularly the developing brain. Since MeHg is a potent electrophilic agent, a wide range of intracellular effects occur in response to its exposure. Yet, the molecular mechanisms associated with MeHg-induced cell toxicity have yet to be fully understood. Activation of cell defense mechanisms in response to metal exposure, including the up-regulation of Nrf2- (nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2)-related genes has been previously shown. Nrf2 is a key regulator of cellular defenses against oxidative, electrophilic and environmental stress, regulating the expression of antioxidant proteins, phase-II xenobiotic detoxifying enzymes as well phase-III xenobiotic transporters. Analogous to other electrophiles, MeHg activates Nrf2 through modification of its repressor Keap1 (Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1). However, recent findings have also revealed that Keap1-independent signal pathways might contribute to MeHg-induced Nrf2 activation and cytoprotective responses against MeHg exposure. These include, Akt phosphorylation (Akt/GSK-3β/Fyn-mediated Nrf2 activation pathway), activation of the PTEN/Akt/CREB pathway and MAPK-induced autophagy and p62 expression. In this review, we summarize the state-of-the-art knowledge regarding Nrf2 up-regulation in response to MeHg exposure, highlighting the modulation of signaling pathways related to Nrf2 activation. The study of these mechanisms is important in evaluating MeHg toxicity in humans, and can contribute to the identification of the molecular mechanisms associated with MeHg exposure.

PubMed ID: 30271424 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: No MeSH terms associated with this publication

to Top