Influence of the delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) polymorphism on biomarkers of lead exposure in Turkish storage battery manufacturing workers

Am J Ind Med. 2003 Feb;43(2):165-71. doi: 10.1002/ajim.10158.


Background: The relationship between delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase polymorphism (ALAD) and biomarkers of exposure was investigated in Turkish lead workers in this study.

Methods: Seventy two male lead battery manufacturing workers were selected for the study. Blood lead (BPb) and urinary lead (UPb) concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. Erythrocyte ALAD activity and urinary 5-aminolevulinic acid (UALA) were measured spectrophotometrically. The polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technique was used to determine the genotype of the ALAD gene.

Results: In total, 51 workers (70.8%) had the ALAD 1-1 genotype, whereas 21 workers (29.2%) had the ALAD 1-2 genotype. No significant relationships were found between the two genotypes and BPb, UPb, and ALAD activity. ALAD1 homozygotes showed significantly higher levels of UALA in comparison with those ALAD2 carriers.

Conclusions: ALAD 1-1 individuals might be an increased risk compared to ALAD2 carriers to disturbance in heme biosynthetic pathway in high lead exposure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aminolevulinic Acid / urine
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Electric Power Supplies
  • Erythrocytes / enzymology
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Lead / blood*
  • Lead / urine*
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / urine
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Porphobilinogen Synthase / blood
  • Porphobilinogen Synthase / genetics*
  • Porphobilinogen Synthase / urine
  • Risk Factors
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Turkey


  • Biomarkers
  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Lead
  • Aminolevulinic Acid
  • Porphobilinogen Synthase