2020 年 45 巻 12 号 p. 801-806
Metallothionein (MT) is an inducible protein with cytoprotective activity against heavy metals such as cadmium, zinc, and copper. MT-1 and MT-2 are the isoforms of MT induced by and bind the heavy metals. Bovine aortic endothelial cells contain three types of MT genes, namely, MT-1A, MT-1E, and MT-2A; however, the associated protein expression of these MT isoforms has not been identified. In the present study, the expression of MT subisoform proteins in cells treated with cadmium chloride was identified using a high-performance liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry system. It was revealed that: (1) transcriptional induction of MT-1A by cadmium was markedly more sensitive than that of MT-1E/2A; (2) MT-1A and MT-2A proteins were the predominant MT subisoforms induced by cadmium; and (3) there might be differentiation in the functions of MT-1 and MT-2 against cadmium cytotoxicity, although the actual roles of the MT isoforms in the cells were not distinct. This is the first study to show the differential induction of isoforms of MT proteins in vascular endothelial cells by cadmium.