, Volume 45, Issue 5, pp 452–457

Vanadium biochemistry: The unknown role of vanadium-containing cells in ascidians (sea squirts)

  • M. J. Smith

DOI: 10.1007/BF01952027

Cite this article as:
Smith, M.J. Experientia (1989) 45: 452. doi:10.1007/BF01952027


This article reviews several new developments in vanadium biochemistry, as elucidated from studies of ascidians. A hypothesis correlating ascidian blood cell function to anaerobiosis, via two prominent redox constituents, namely vanadium(III) and the tunichromes, a family of metal ion complexing/reducing hydroquinonoid peptides, is presented.

Key words

Vanadiumion pumptunichrometunicascidianrespirationoxygenanaerobe

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA