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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Inorg. Chem.
Volume (Issue) 52
Page(s) 785 - 792
Title of proceedings Inorg. Chem.
DOI Doi 10.1021/Ic301907j


The plant metallothionein2 from Cicer arietinum (chickpea), cic-MT2, is known to coordinate five divalent metal ions such as Zn-II or Cd-II, which are arranged in a single metal thiolate cluster. When the Zn-II form of the protein is titrated with Cd-II ions in the presence of sulfide ions, an increased Cd-II binding capacity and concomitant incorporation of sulfide ions into the cluster are observed. The exact stoichiometry of this novel cluster, its spectroscopic properties, and the significantly increased pH stability are analyzed with different techniques, including UV and circular dichroism spectroscopy and colorimetric assays. Limited proteolytic digestion provides information about the spacial arrangement of the cluster within the protein. Increasing the Cd-II scavenging properties of a metallothionein by additionally recruiting sulfide ions might be an economic and very efficient detoxification strategy for plants.