Effects of lead and mercury on the blood proteome of children

Robert E. Birdsall, Michael P. Kiley, Zaneer M. Segu, Christopher D. Palmer, Milan Madera, Brooks B. Gump, James A. MacKenzie, Patrick J. Parsons, Yehia Mechref, Milos V. Novotny, Kestutis G. Bendinskas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Heavy metal exposure in children has been associated with a variety of physiological and neurological problems. The goal of this study was to utilize proteomics to enhance the understanding of biochemical interactions responsible for the health problems related to lead and mercury exposure at concentrations well below CDC guidelines. Blood plasma and serum samples from 34 children were depleted of their most abundant proteins using antibody-based affinity columns and analyzed using two different methods, LC-MS/MS and 2-D electrophoresis coupled with MALDI-TOF/MS and tandem mass spectrometry. Apolipoprotein E demonstrated an inverse significant association with lead concentrations (average being one microgram/deciliter) as deduced from LC-MS/MS and 2-D electrophoresis and confirmed by Western blot analysis. This coincides with prior findings that Apolipoprotein E genotype moderates neurobehavioral effects in individuals exposed to lead. Fifteen other proteins were identified by LC-MS/MS as proteins of interest exhibiting expressional differences in the presence of environmental lead and mercury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4443-4453
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 3 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • ApoE
  • Hg
  • Pb
  • apolipoprotein E
  • cardiovascular
  • children, blood
  • lead
  • mercury
  • proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemistry


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