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  Global Journal of Environmental Science and Technology 2012, 2: 5
  Review Article
Metallothionein of aquatic animals as a biomarker: Coverage of vulnerability
  Stoliar O. B., Falfushynska H. I.  
Research Laboratory of Comparative Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volodymyr Hnatiuk Ternopil National Pedagogical University, M. Kryvonosa Street, 2, Ternopil, 46027, Ukraine
  Metallothioneins (MTs) constitute highly conservative family of stress-proteins with metal (mainly Zn or Cu and particularly Cd, if present)-keeping and expected antioxidant functions. MT’s characteristics are explored as a biomarker of the pollution by heavy metals. However in some cases, the discrepancy of the levels of expression, protein concentration measured from SH or metal evaluation was reported for the MTs in aquatic animals, particularly in field conditions. In this review, the responses of MTs in the representatives of different phyla of aquatic animals in model and especially field conditions are discussed based on the knowledge of MTs molecular peculiarities, participation in metal homeostasis and thiols’ reactivity. Methodological approaches for their correct implementation in the ecotoxicological purposes are discussed.
  Metallothionein; Aquatic animals; Heavy metals; Oxidative defence; Environmental pollution; Biomarker  

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