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Metallothionein (MT) is a protein with function of heavy metal detoxification. However, studies about how single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of MT genes influence lead nephropathy are relatively scarce. Therefore, our aim is to investigate the association between blood lead levels and renal biomarkers and to study whether this association is influenced by the combination of MT1A and MT2A SNPs. Blood lead, urinary uric acid (UA), and urinary N-acetyl-beta-d-glucosaminidase (NAG) levels were analyzed from 485 participants. Genotyping were performed on MT1A SNPs (rs11640851 and rs8052394) and MT2A SNPs (rs10636 and rs28366003). The combined MT1A 2A SNPs were divided into 16 groups. Among renal biomarkers, urinary UA was negatively significant associated with the time-weighted index of cumulative blood lead (TWICL), while urinary NAG was positively significant with TWICL. Furthermore, the association between urinary UA and TWICL was significantly modified by group 6 of combined SNPs (MT1A 2 A SNPs combination were AAAGGGAA, ACAGGGAA, and ACGGGGAA). In conclusion, the negative association of urinary UA and TWICL is modified by group 6, which means participants of group 6 are more susceptible to lead nephrotoxicity.


Chen-Cheng Yang, Chia-I Lin, Su-Shin Lee, Chao-Ling Wang, Chia-Yen Dai, Hung-Yi Chuang. The association of blood lead levels and renal effects may be modified by genetic combinations of Metallothionein 1A 2A polymorphisms. Scientific reports. 2020 Jun 15;10(1):9603

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PMID: 32541800

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