The Alkali Metal Ions: Their Role for Life

  • Astrid Sigel
  • Helmut Sigel
  • Roland K. O. Sigel

Part of the Metal Ions in Life Sciences book series (MILS, volume 16)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xli
  2. Youngsam Kim, Thuy-Tien T. Nguyen, David G. Churchill
    Pages 1-10
  3. Francesco Crea, Concetta De Stefano, Claudia Foti, Gabriele Lando, Demetrio Milea, Silvio Sammartano
    Pages 133-166
  4. Pascal Auffinger, Luigi D’Ascenzo, Eric Ennifar
    Pages 167-201
  5. Eric Largy, Jean-Louis Mergny, Valérie Gabelica
    Pages 203-258
  6. Milan Vašák, Joachim Schnabl
    Pages 259-290
  7. Manuel Nieves-Cordones, Fouad Razzaq Al Shiblawi, Hervé Sentenac
    Pages 291-324
  8. Günter Fritz, Julia Steuber
    Pages 349-390
  9. Hideki Sakai, Takuto Fujii, Noriaki Takeguchi
    Pages 459-483
  10. Nuria Rodríguez-Vázquez, Alberto Fuertes, Manuel Amorín, Juan R. Granja
    Pages 485-556
  11. Duarte Mota de Freitas, Brian D. Leverson, Jesse L. Goossens
    Pages 557-584
  12. Yonghwang Ha, Jeong A Jeong, Youngsam Kim, David G. Churchill
    Pages 585-601
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 603-628

About this book


MILS-16 provides an up-to-date review of the impact of alkali metal ions on life. Their bioinorganic chemistry and analytical determination, the solid state structures of bio-ligand complexes and the properties of alkali metal ions in solution in the context of all kinds of biologically relevant ligands are covered, this includes proteins (enzymes) and nucleic acids (G-quadruplexes). Minerals containing sodium (Na+) and potassium (K+) are abundant in the Earth's crust, making Na+ and K+ easily available. In contrast, the alkali elements lithium (Li+), rubidium, and cesium are rare and the radioactive francium occurs only in traces. Since the intra- and extracellular, as well as the compartmental concentrations of Na+ and K+ differ significantly, homeostasis and active transport of these ions are important; this involves transporters/carriers and pore-forming ion channel proteins. Systems like Na+/K+-ATPases, H+/K+-ATPases or Na+/H+ antiporters are thoroughly discussed. The role of K+ in photosynthesis and the role of Na+ in charging the "battery of life" are pointed out. Also, the relationships between alkali metal ions and diseases (e.g., Parkinson or traumatic brain injury) are covered and the relevance of Li+ salts in medicine (pharmacology and mechanism) is reviewed. This and more is treated in an authoritative and timely manner in the 16 stimulating chapters of Volume 16, The Alkali Metal Ions: Their Role for Life, which are written by 44 internationally recognized experts from 12 nations. The impact of this vibrant research area is manifested in nearly 3000 references, over 30 tables and more than 150 illustrations (two thirds in color). MILS-16 also provides excellent information for teaching.

Astrid Sigel, Helmut Sigel, and Roland K. O. Sigel have long-standing interests in Biological Inorganic Chemistry. Their research focuses on metal ion interactions with nucleotides and nucleic acids and on related topics. They edited previously 44 volumes in the series Metal Ions in Biological Systems.


Li+ salts Ligands Nucleic acids Potassium Sodium

Editors and affiliations

  • Astrid Sigel
    • 1
  • Helmut Sigel
    • 2
  • Roland K. O. Sigel
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry Inorganic ChemistryUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry Inorganic ChemistryUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryUniversity of ZürichZürichSwitzerland

Bibliographic information