Arsenic biotransformations: The cycle of arsenic methylation and demethylation

B. P. Rosen, K. Marapakala, A. A. Ajees, M. Yoshinaga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Arsenic is the most prevalent environmental toxic element and causes health problems throughout the world. Here we will describe the connection between arsenic geochemistry and biology, with emphasis on redox and methylation cycles, as well as other arsenic biotransformations. The arsenic methylation cycle remodels the environment, with some members of microbial communities converting inorganic arsenic into organic species, and others breaking down organic arsenicals such as the arsenical herbicide monosodium methylarsenate (MSMA) into inorganic arsenic. The microbes, genes and proteins that carry out these pathways were identified. The enzymes were characterized, and their crystal structure solved. A new enzymatic mechanism for arsenic methylation by human AS3MT that accounts for the production of carcinogenic species is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOne Century of the Discovery of Arsenicosis in Latin America (1914-2014)
Subtitle of host publicationAs 2014 - Proceedings of the 5th International Congress on Arsenic in the Environment
PublisherCRC Press/Balkema
Pages309-311
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)9781138001411
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2014
Event5th International Congress on Arsenic in the Environment, As 2014 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Duration: 11-05-201416-05-2014

Conference

Conference5th International Congress on Arsenic in the Environment, As 2014
CountryArgentina
CityBuenos Aires
Period11-05-1416-05-14

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Health and Safety

Cite this

Rosen, B. P., Marapakala, K., Ajees, A. A., & Yoshinaga, M. (2014). Arsenic biotransformations: The cycle of arsenic methylation and demethylation. In One Century of the Discovery of Arsenicosis in Latin America (1914-2014): As 2014 - Proceedings of the 5th International Congress on Arsenic in the Environment (pp. 309-311). CRC Press/Balkema.