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.

Https

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.

University of Washington

Superfund Research Program

Heme Pathway Polymorphisms in Mercury-Induced Porphyrinuria and Toxicity

Project Leader: James S. Woods
Grant Number: P42ES004696
Funding Period: 1995 - 2009

Project-Specific Links

Connect with the Grantees

Visit the grantee's eNewsletter page Visit the grantee's eNewsletter page Visit the grantee's Twitter page Visit the grantee's Facebook page Visit the grantee's Video page

Project Summary (2000-2006)

The objective of this project is to define the association between the genetic polymorphisms of two heme biosynthetic pathway enzymes, uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase (UROD) and coproporphyrinogen oxidase (CPOX), and the atypical porphyrinogenic response to mercury (Hg) exposure in human subjects. The long-term goal is to establish a biomarker based on a genetically-linked effect of Hg on porphyrinmetabolism and the urinary porphyrin profile. This biomarker could identify persons who are at increased risk of Hg toxicity during low-level environmental Hg exposure. Researchers are using novel and established genetic analytical techniques, along with validated neurobehavioral and clinical testing procedures, in an established, well-characterized and highly motivated human population. This population has experienced low-level Hg exposure comparable to that of people residing near Superfund hazardous waste sites. The finding of a significant relationship between specific polymorphisms in the UROD and/or CPOX genes and the atypical porphyrinogenic response to Hg would represent the first such discovery of a genetic predisposition to an altered biological response to Hg that could be reflected in altered Hg disposition and associated health risks in human subjects.

Back
to Top