Issue 11, 2011

Chromate toxicity and the role of sulfur


The molecular mode(s)-of-action of the toxic metal chromium has yet to be fully resolved. This Mini review focuses on interactions between chromate and sulfur in biological systems. Cr binds sulfur ligands, with cysteine and glutathione having the capacity to aggravate or ameliorate Cr toxicity. Competition between chromate and sulfate for uptake and in metabolism provokes sulfur starvation, which can be growth limiting. Recent data indicate that sulfur deficiency determines protein damage-related Cr toxicity, due to mRNA mistranslation caused by Cr-induced S limitation. Sulfur deprivation could contribute to additional aspects of Cr toxicity, including oxidative DNA damage and Cr related disease.

Graphical abstract: Chromate toxicity and the role of sulfur

Article information

Article type
31 May 2011
23 Jun 2011
First published
01 Aug 2011

Metallomics, 2011,3, 1119-1123