Metallothionein Research Papers

The effects of Metallothionein has been studied in depth for over 50 years and its beneficial properties are well documented.  We provide access to a number of these publications below.

MT2A & Other Antioxidants

  • Intracellular antioxidants commonly include glutathione (GSH), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), superoxide dismutase-1 and triphosphopyridine nucleotide (NAPDH) [46].


  • MT2A could create a new pool of thiol in cell cytosol which could attenuate the damaging effect of GSH depletors [47]. The ability of MT2A to scavenge free •OH and peroxyl radicals is found to be 100-fold higher than that of GSH [48].


  • Both MT2A and HO-1 are increased along with ROS during oxidative stress [49]. Moreover, MT-1/2 double knockout cells would adapt to the expression of HO-1 [50]. Additionally, MT could mediate phosphorylate extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK), and control ROS through regulating HO-1 [51].

MT & Diabetes

MT as an adaptive protein can prevent both diabetes development and its complications or other subsequent pathogenic injury.


MT & Heart

MT2A is a potent antioxidant in heart [37,53,79] (Table 1). More importantly, antioxidant is shown to exert beneficial effects in hypertension, atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure [17,80]

MT & Neurodegenerative

Metallothioneins are multipurpose neuroprotectors, they play a major role in the defense against neurodegenerative disorders and other injuries. MTs influence tissue architecture, cognition and protect against mercury neurotoxicity.


MT & Cancer

MTs play a pivotal role in multiple biological processes by virtue of their unusual metal-binding functions, such as participating in metal ion homeostasis and detoxification, regulation of cell growth and proliferation, and protecting the body against DNA damage and oxidative stress.  The research covering MTs may provide new insight for treating cancer. 


MT & Obesity

MTs have the potential to prevent obesity-related diseases, at least in part, through suppression of disease-induced generation of superoxide and endoplasmic reticulum stress and associated damage. Metallothioneins protect against HFD-induced weight gain, moderate insulin resistance, and metabolic alterations by protecting mitochondrial function and energy metabolism in the hypothalamus.

MT & Anti-Inflammation


MT2A could regulate cell inflammatory response through inhibition of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) [55], and endothelial-overexpressed LPS-associated factor-1 (EOLA1) [56]. Inflammatory cytokines are released by oxidative stress [57], whereas MT2A could inhibit the activation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6, IL-12 and TNF-α [15]. MT-1/2 knockout would significantly aggravate renal oxidative damage and inflammation induced by intermittent hypoxiavia Nrf2 signaling pathway [58].


MT & Skincare - Beauty within

The induction of metallothioneins in the wound margin reflect their role in promoting cell proliferation re-epithelization.  MT is a crucial substance in the chemical protection of the body when organisms are subjected to physico-chemical or even biological stress.  The protective effect of MTs in radiation injury have been demonstrated both in-vivo and in cells.


MT & Muscle Tissue

Metallothioneins are a potent anti-oxidant preventing oxidation in any tissue after injury. They protect various tissues during pathological conditions and the MT‐I + II increases post-exercise may represent a mechanism whereby contracting muscle-fibers are protected against cellular stress and injury.