Lead neurotoxicity: exploring the potential impact of lead substitution in zinc-finger proteins on mental health
Childhood lead poisoning is a costly and largely preventable public health problem that lowers IQs, decreases attention spans, and leads to the development of other childhood intellectual disabilities. Furthermore, recent evidence links developmental lead poisoning with the etiology of disorders that appear much later in life, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and schizophrenia. Little is known about how lead influences the onset of these disorders. This paper reviews the evidence that lead substitution for zinc in zinc-finger proteins contributes to the development of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and schizophrenia. The zinc-finger proteins potentially impacted by lead include DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and Presenilin 1 and 2 (PSEN1/2) in Alzheimer's disease, the dopamine receptor in Parkinson's disease, and the NMDA receptor, zinc-finger protein 804A (ZNF804A), and disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 (DISC1)-binding zinc-finger (DBZ) in schizophrenia.