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Polymorphisms in genes encoding potential mercury transporters and urine mercury concentrations in populations exposed to mercury vapor from gold mining



Polymorphisms in genes encoding potential mercury transporters and urine mercury concentrations in populations exposed to mercury vapor from gold mining



Environmental Health Perspectives 121(1): 85-91



Elemental mercury (Hg0) is widely used in small-scale gold mining. Persons working or living in mining areas have high urinary concentrations of Hg (U-Hg). Differences in genes encoding potential Hg-transporters may affect uptake and elimination of Hg. We aimed to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in Hg-transporter genes that modify U-Hg. Men and women (1,017) from Indonesia, the Philippines, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe were classified either as controls (no Hg exposure from gold mining) or as having low (living in a gold-mining area) or high exposure (working as gold miners). U-Hg was analyzed by cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrometry. Eighteen SNPs in eight Hg-transporter genes were analyzed. U-Hg concentrations were higher among ABCC2/MRP2 rs1885301 A-allele carriers than among GG homozygotes in all populations, though differences were not statistically significant in most cases. MRP2 SNPs showed particularly strong associations with U-Hg in the subgroup with highest exposure (miners in Zimbabwe), whereas rs1885301 A-allele carriers had higher U-Hg than GG homozygotes [geometric mean (GM): 36.4 µg/g creatinine vs. 21.9; p = 0.027], rs2273697 GG homozygotes had higher U-Hg than A-allele carriers (GM: 37.4 vs. 16.7; p = 0.001), and rs717620 A-allele carriers had higher U-Hg than GG homozygotes (GM: 83 vs. 28; p = 0.084). The SLC7A5/LAT1 rs33916661 GG genotype was associated with higher U-Hg in all populations (statistically significant for all Tanzanians combined). SNPs in SLC22A6/OAT1 (rs4149170) and SLC22A8/OAT3 (rs4149182) were associated with U-Hg mainly in the Tanzanian study groups. SNPs in putative Hg-transporter genes may influence U-Hg concentrations.

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Accession: 055047183

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23052037

DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1204951


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