Uptake of lead and iron by divalent metal transporter 1 in yeast and mammalian cells

Desmond I. Bannon, Matthew E. Portnoy, Luisa Olivi, Peter S.J. Lees, Valeria C. Culotta, Joseph P. Bressler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the divalent metal transporter (DMT1) was suggested to transport a wide range of metals in Xenopus oocytes, recent studies in other models have provided contrasting results. Here, we provide direct evidence demonstrating that DMT1 expressed in yeast mutants defective for high affinity iron transport facilitates the transport of iron with an 'apparent Km' of approximately 1.2 μM, and transport of lead with an 'apparent Km' of approximately 1.8 μM. DMT1-dependent lead transport was H+-dependent and was inhibited by iron. Human embryonic kidney fibroblasts (HEK293 cells) overexpressing DMT1 also showed a higher uptake of lead than HEK293 cells without overexpressing DMT1. These results show that DMT1 transports lead and iron with similar affinity in a yeast model suggesting that DMT1 is a transporter for lead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)978-984
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • DMT1
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Rat
  • Transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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