Copper: Effects of Deficiency and Overload

  • Ivo Scheiber
  • Ralf Dringen
  • Julian F. B. Mercer
Part of the Metal Ions in Life Sciences book series (MILS, volume 13)


Copper is an essential trace metal that is required for the catalysis of several important cellular enzymes. However, since an excess of copper can also harm cells due to its potential to catalyze the generation of toxic reactive oxygen species, transport of copper and the cellular copper content are tightly regulated. This chapter summarizes the current knowledge on the importance of copper for cellular processes and on the mechanisms involved in cellular copper uptake, storage and export. In addition, we will give an overview on disturbances of copper homeostasis that are characterized by copper overload or copper deficiency or have been connected with neurodegenerative disorders.


ATP7A ATP7B copper chaperones copper homeostasis Ctr1 glutathione Menkes disease metallothioneins Wilson disease 



J.M. is grateful for funding support from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia grant APP1003903.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivo Scheiber
    • 1
  • Ralf Dringen
    • 2
  • Julian F. B. Mercer
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Parasitology, Faculty of ScienceCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.Centre for Biomolecular Interactions BremenUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  3. 3.Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, School of Life and Environmental SciencesDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia

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