Metallothionein coding sequence identification and seasonal mRNA expression of detoxification genes in the bivalve Corbicula fluminea

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2009 Feb;72(2):382-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2008.04.014. Epub 2008 Jun 11.


The aim of this study was to identify a metallothionein (MT) coding sequence from the freshwater bivalve Corbicula fluminea and to measure the seasonal transcriptional pattern of MT in parallel with several detoxification genes: superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferases (GST) and glutathione peroxidases (GPx), in the digestive gland and the gills of this bivalve during a 1-year period. We identified a C. fluminea MT complete cDNA sequence using RT-PCR and RACE-PCR. The amino acid sequence deduced from the coding sequence encodes for a protein of 73 amino acids containing 21 cysteine residues. This protein exhibits high identities and similarities with the MT sequences of numerous bivalves. MT, SOD, CAT, pi-GST and Se-GPx expression patterns did not exhibit major seasonal variations. A slight increase of MT was observed in July. Therefore, the mRNA expression of these five genes could be used as biomarkers for monitoring studies.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Catalase / genetics
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Corbicula / enzymology
  • Corbicula / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic*
  • Genetic Code*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / genetics
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Inactivation, Metabolic*
  • Metallothionein / genetics*
  • Metallothionein / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Seasons
  • Superoxide Dismutase / genetics
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Metallothionein
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione Transferase