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Bioinorg Chem. 1975 Jan;4(2):125-33.

Selenium - induced redistribution of cadmium binding to tissue proteins: a possible mechanism of protection against cadmium toxicity.


The mechanisms involved in the protection by Se against Cd toxicity in the rat were investigated. Se was found to significantly increase the Cd content in the blood and the testis, while decreasing that in the liver and kidney. Se diverted almost all the Cd in the soluble fraction of the testis from low-molecular-weight (MW) proteins to larger ones. Since the soluble fraction was the major subcellular Cd-binding component, the diversion of Cd by Se appears to be a mechanism involved in the protection by this element against the Cd-induced testicular injury. The diversion in binding of the Cd in the soluble fraction to higher MW proteins was also observed in the kidney and liver, and may be a second mechanism involved in the protection of these organs against Cd by Se, in addition to the reductive effect of Se on the tissue Cd concentration. Se was also found in these higher MW Cd-binding proteins. Based on a similarity of MW of about 115,000, the Cd-binding, Se-containing proteins found in these organs appear to be similar. A diversion of Cd from lower MW proteins to larger ones by Se was also found in the plasma, but the Cd-binding, Se-containing proteins in plasma appear to be different from those found in the other organs since they have a larger MW.

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