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Structure and Function of Vertebrate Metallothioneins


Hidalgo, J; Chung, R; Penkowa, M; Vasak, M (2009). Structure and Function of Vertebrate Metallothioneins. In: Sigel, A; Sigel, H; Sigel, R K O. Metallothioneins and Related Chelators. Cambridge: The Royal Society of Chemistry, 279-318.

Abstract

In 1957, Margoshes and Vallee reported on the isolation of a protein from horse kidney,
which showed a high affinity for cadmium, and soon thereafter the protein was named metallothionein
(MT) by the leading scientists Kägi and Vallee. Fifty years of intense research has dissected out many of
the biochemical, molecular, and genetic aspects of these proteins, yet not that much is understood on its
physiological putative functions. Being a highly conserved family of proteins would suggest essential
biological functions, but these may be dispensable and/or assumed by other proteins as demonstrated by
the phenotype of knock-out mice in normal conditions. Nevertheless, under challenging conditions (such
as tissue injury) a strong phenotype appears that is suggestive of important physiological functions. This
has been particularly well shown in the brain, where antiinflammatory, antioxidant and antiapoptotic
effects of MT have been demonstrated. To date, the results gathered strongly support a therapeutic value
of these proteins that deserve attention in clinical studies.

In 1957, Margoshes and Vallee reported on the isolation of a protein from horse kidney,
which showed a high affinity for cadmium, and soon thereafter the protein was named metallothionein
(MT) by the leading scientists Kägi and Vallee. Fifty years of intense research has dissected out many of
the biochemical, molecular, and genetic aspects of these proteins, yet not that much is understood on its
physiological putative functions. Being a highly conserved family of proteins would suggest essential
biological functions, but these may be dispensable and/or assumed by other proteins as demonstrated by
the phenotype of knock-out mice in normal conditions. Nevertheless, under challenging conditions (such
as tissue injury) a strong phenotype appears that is suggestive of important physiological functions. This
has been particularly well shown in the brain, where antiinflammatory, antioxidant and antiapoptotic
effects of MT have been demonstrated. To date, the results gathered strongly support a therapeutic value
of these proteins that deserve attention in clinical studies.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Biochemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Biochemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:23 Jan 2009 16:05
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:28
Publisher:The Royal Society of Chemistry
Series Name:Metal Ions in Life Sciences
Number:5
ISBN:978-1-84755-899-2
Publisher DOI:10.1146/annurev.bi.40.070171.001431
Official URL:http://www.rsc.org/Shop/books/2009/9781847558992.asp
Related URLs:http://opac.nebis.ch/F/?local_base=NEBIS&con_lng=GER&func=find-b&find_code=SYS&request=005156476
http://www.springer.com/chemistry/inorganic/book/978-1-84755-899-2 (Publisher)
http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-291193.html
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-3970

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