Cadmium injections induced only a single form of metallothionein (MT) in the midgut gland of Potamon potamios, whereas the same treatment induced two isoforms in Astacus astacus. The only difference between the two latter isoforms was that one had an extra N-terminal methionine residue. MT from P. potamios showed structural differences from other decapod crustacean MTs. It contained a Gly-Thr motif at positions 8 and 8a, which had previously been found only in certain vertebrate and molluscan MTs. Furthermore P. potamios MT contained two to three times as many glutamic acid residues as normally found in decapod crustacean MT. The primary structure of MT from the freshwater crayfish A. astacus showed a high degree of sequence identity with MT from other decapod crustaceans, especially the marine astacidean Homarus americanus, although two valine residues were unexpectedly found at positions 8 and 21, where lysine residues are normally found.

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