A review of metallothionein isoforms and their role in pathophysiology

World J Surg Oncol. 2011 May 20;9:54. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-9-54.


The Metallothionein (MT) is a protein which has several interesting biological effects and has been demonstrated increase focus on the role of MT in various biological systems in the past three decades. The studies on the role of MT were limited with few areas like apoptosis and antioxidants in selected organs even fifty years after its discovery. Now acknowledge the exploration of various isoforms of MT such as MT-I, MT-II, MT-III and MT-IV and other isoforms in various biological systems.Strong evidence exists that MT modulates complex diseases and the immune system in the body but the primary function of MT still remains unknown. This review's main objective is to explore the capability to specifically manipulate MT levels in cells and in animals to provide answers regarding how MT could impact those complex disease scenarios.The experimental result mentioned in this review related among MT, zinc, cadmium, diabetic, heart disease, bone retardation, neuro toxicity, kidney dysfunction, cancer, and brain suggest novel method for exploration and contribute significantly to the growing scientist to research further in this field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Diseases, Developmental / physiopathology
  • Central Nervous System / physiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Heart Diseases / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology
  • Metallothionein / chemistry
  • Metallothionein / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Protein Isoforms


  • Protein Isoforms
  • Metallothionein