The dual personality of ionic copper in biology
- 164 Downloads
Biological copper is mainly involved in electron transport to catalyse essential oxido-reduction processes. It is an essential trace element which is extremely toxic because exchangeable intracellular copper is Cu(I) which generates reactive oxygen species. To handle this paradox the evolution has led to a fine homeostasis in which copper ions are never free. Intracellular Cu(I) instead is bound to numerous proteins forming specific cascades towards its targets.
KeywordsCopper Biology Homeostasis Toxicity
I thank Florent Guillain for stimulating discussions that helped in preparation of this manuscript just before his uptake into a new life after 40 harmonious lab’s years and Elisabeth Mintz, a member of our team, for critical reading and useful comments.
- 1.Peña, M.M., Lee, J., Thiele, D.J.: A delicate balance: homeostatic control of copper uptake and distribution. J. Nutr. 129, 1251–1260 (1999)Google Scholar
- 2.Frausto da Silva, J.J.R., Williams, R.J.P.: The Biological Chemistry of the Elements. Clarendon Press, Oxford (2001)Google Scholar
- 4.Cotton, F.A., Wilkinson, G.: Advanced Inorganic Chemistry. Wiley, New York (1987)Google Scholar
- 5.Huheey, J.E., Keiter, E.A., Keiter, R.L.: Inorganic Chemistry: Principles of Structure and Reactivity. Harper Collins College, New York (1993)Google Scholar
- 12.Sarkar, B.: Metal replacement in DNA-binding zinc finger proteins and its relevance to mutagenicity and carcinogenicity through free radical generation. Nutrition 11, 646–649 (1995)Google Scholar
- 16.Kuo, Y.M., Gybina, A.A., Pyatskowit, J.W., Gitschier, J., Prohaska, J.R.: Copper transport protein (Ctr1) levels in mice are tissue specific and dependent on copper status. J. Nutr. 136, 21–26 (2006)Google Scholar
- 24.Morin, I., Gudin, S., Mintz, E., Cuillel, M.: Dissecting the role of the N-terminal metal-binding domains in activating the yeast copper ATPase in vivo. Febs. J. (2009) (in press)Google Scholar