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Gene Review

mtl-1  -  Protein MTL-1

Caenorhabditis elegans

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High impact information on mtl-1

  • Cu did not induce MT1 or MT2 mRNAs [1].
  • The translated amino acid sequences of several clones are identical to C. elegans metallothionein-1, HSP70, collagens, and rRNAs [2].
  • The functional importance of metallothioneins in cadmium trafficking was highlighted through the generation of viable green fluorescent protein (GFP) expressing transgenes, a metallothionein null allele, as well as RNAi mediated metallothionein knock-downs [3].
  • Characterization of metallothionein cDNAs induced by cadmium in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans [4].
  • However, 3'-untranslated region of cDNAs of C. elegans MT-I and -II have some consensus sequences found in mammalian MT cDNAs, suggesting that these regions may have some roles in the regulation of MT-gene expression [4].

Biological context of mtl-1

  • Sequence of 525 bases upstream of the transcription start contains a TATA box, a CAAT box reverse complement, and many short stretches partially matching the AP-1 and ACE-1 binding sites, but no characteristic sequences found in other metallothionein promoters [5].
  • Genomic DNAs of metallothionein I and II in Caenorhabditis elegans (CeMT-I and CeMT-II) were isolated by YAC library/polytene filter hybridization followed by subcloning of corresponding cosmid clones [6].
  • The full-length cDNA of met-1 consists of an open reading frame (ORF) of 586 amino acids which contains 5 potential N-glycosylation sites and a predicted zinc-binding domain (HEBXHXBGFXHEXXRXDRD) [7].
  • The genome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans contains two metallothionein genes, both involved in metal homeostasis and/or detoxification [8].

Associations of mtl-1 with chemical compounds

  • Database searches identified similarity of the C-terminal cysteine-rich domain of ASP proteins to a nematode metallothionein motif [9].

Other interactions of mtl-1

  • In vivo deletion and site-directed mutation analyses confirm that one GATA element in mtl-1 and two in mtl-2 are required for transcription [10].
  • Full-length or partial coding sequences of 4 different zinc-metalloprotease cDNAs of Ostertagia (met-1, -2, -3 and -4) were amplified using gene-specific primers using the 3'- and 5'-Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends (RACE) technique [7].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of mtl-1

  • Enzyme immunoassay using anti-CeMT-II antibody showed the difference of antigenicity to rat MT-I and II and even to CeMT-I [11].


  1. Longevity and heavy metal resistance in daf-2 and age-1 long-lived mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans. Barsyte, D., Lovejoy, D.A., Lithgow, G.J. FASEB J. (2001) [Pubmed]
  2. Cadmium-regulated genes from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Identification and cloning of new cadmium-responsive genes by differential display. Liao, V.H., Freedman, J.H. J. Biol. Chem. (1998) [Pubmed]
  3. C. elegans metallothioneins: new insights into the phenotypic effects of cadmium toxicosis. Swain, S.C., Keusekotten, K., Baumeister, R., Stürzenbaum, S.R. J. Mol. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  4. Characterization of metallothionein cDNAs induced by cadmium in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Imagawa, M., Onozawa, T., Okumura, K., Osada, S., Nishihara, T., Kondo, M. Biochem. J. (1990) [Pubmed]
  5. Cadmium metallothionein gene of Tetrahymena pyriformis. Piccinni, E., Bertaggia, D., Santovito, G., Miceli, C., Kraev, A. Gene (1999) [Pubmed]
  6. Metallothionein genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and metal inducibility in mammalian culture cells. Kugawa, F., Yamamoto, H., Osada, S., Aoki, M., Imagawa, M., Nishihara, T. Biomed. Environ. Sci. (1994) [Pubmed]
  7. Molecular analysis of astacin-like metalloproteases of Ostertagia ostertagi. De Maere, V., Vercauteren, I., Geldhof, P., Gevaert, K., Vercruysse, J., Claerebout, E. Parasitology (2005) [Pubmed]
  8. Single and double metallothionein knockout in the nematode C. elegans reveals cadmium dependent and independent toxic effects on life history traits. Hughes, S., St??rzenbaum, S.R. Environ. Pollut. (2007) [Pubmed]
  9. A family of activation associated secreted protein (ASP) homologues of Cooperia punctata. Yatsuda, A.P., Eysker, M., Vieira-Bressan, M.C., De Vries, E. Res. Vet. Sci. (2002) [Pubmed]
  10. Regulation of metallothionein gene transcription. Identification of upstream regulatory elements and transcription factors responsible for cell-specific expression of the metallothionein genes from Caenorhabditis elegans. Moilanen, L.H., Fukushige, T., Freedman, J.H. J. Biol. Chem. (1999) [Pubmed]
  11. Biochemical and immunochemical characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans metallothioneins I and II induced by cadmium. Kondo, M., Imagawa, M., Maruyama, K., Okada, Y., Tsunasawa, S., Nishihara, T. Biomed. Environ. Sci. (1990) [Pubmed]
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