Lead (Pb) is an environmental and public health toxicant. It affects various organ systems of the body, thereby disrupting their normal functions. To date, several genes that are known to influence the mechanism of action of lead and toxicity have been studied. Among them, the iron transporter gene, SLC11A2 (Solute Carrier 11 group A member 2) which codes for the transmembrane protein, DMT1 (Divalent Metal Transporter 1) has shown to transport other metals including zinc, copper, and lead. We investigated the influence of DMT1 polymorphism (rs224589) on blood lead (Pb-B) levels. In the present study, we enrolled 113 lead-exposed workers and performed a comprehensive biochemical analysis and genetic composition. The frequency of DMT1 variants observed in the total subjects (n = 113) was 42 % for homozygous CC wild type, 54 % for heterozygous CA, and 4 % for homozygous AA mutant. The heterozygous CA carriers presented higher Pb-B levels compared to wild type CC and mutant AA carriers. Further, a negative association was observed between Pb-B levels and hemoglobin in heterozygous CA carriers. Hence, C allele may be the risk allele that contributes to increased susceptibility to high Pb-B retention, and genotyping of DMT1 in lead exposed subjects might be used as a prognostic marker to impede organ damage due to lead toxicity.
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