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Physiological properties of copper and zinc

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Abstract

The properties of metals in biological compartments depend not only on their characteristics, but also on those of the ligand sites which interact with them. From this interaction derive properties and structural characters which confer a functional role or roles on the biological molecules and compartments in which the metals are present. The various distributions and locations of the ligands in organs and structures may confer often very different but interacting roles on the metals. Therefore, the physiological properties of metal ions, in this case copper and zinc, must be described with reference to the systems in which they are involved. Nor is it surprising that the natural or experimentally induced depressed state of metals provides the first indications of their putative effects, and data regarding functional roles are often closely linked and mingled with those related to a deficient state. Trace elements such as copper and zinc have important functions in both humans and animals, are known to be essential, and must be available in adequate amounts depending on absorption, distribution and storage in a regulated system which obviously includes excretory mechanisms. These aspects therefore form the basis of all functional roles and physiological properties.

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Albergoni, V. (1998). Physiological properties of copper and zinc. In: Rainsford, K.D., Milanino, R., Sorenson, J.R.J., Velo, G.P. (eds) Copper and Zinc in Inflammatory and Degenerative Diseases. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-3963-2_2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-3963-2_2

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