Special Issue "Metals in Biology and Medicine"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2023 | Viewed by 1495
Almost half of all known proteins contain metal cations. Over the course of organism evolution, specific biological functions have been bestowed upon several (biogenic) metal species, with Na+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+, Zn2+, Mn2+/3+, Fe2+/3+, Cu+/2+ and Co2+/3+ found the most frequently.
The high-fidelity selection of the native metal cation from the surrounding fluids that teem with other contending metal species is of paramount importance for the faultless functioning of metalloproteins. Several highly efficient strategies have been developed by the host protein or cell machinery that enable the native metal cofactor to outdo its rivals in binding the target protein. The safeguard system of the protein, however, has not evolved sufficiently well to effectively thwart attacks by foreign (abiogenic) metal cations which were excluded from the evolutionary process, such as Hg2+, Pb2+, Al3+, Cd2+, Li+, Ag+, Sr2+, Ga3+, La3+ and many others. These are not under homeostatic control and, after eluding the host organism’s defense system and competing with native metal species, may adversely affect specific biochemical processes, thus intoxicating the recipient (e.g. mercury, cadmium or lead poisoning). In particular circumstances, however, the substitution of the native cation by an “alien” competitor might appear advantageous for the host organism. Such “friendly” abiogenic metal cations help humans to successfully cope with medical conditions such as psychiatric disorders (Li+), osteoporosis (Sr2+), tumor formations (Sr2+, Ga3+) and bacterial infections (Ag+, Ga3+). The mechanisms of the abiogenic metal cations’ “friendly” or “unfriendly” behaviour, however, are not well understood and many questions remain.
Thus, we kindly invite you to contribute a full-length paper or a review article to this Special Issue, which will focus on the role that both biogenic and abiogenic metals play in human pathogenesis or medical care. This information will be beneficial to a large audience of scientists and practitioners working in the field.
Prof. Dr. Todor Dudev
Manuscript Submission Information
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- biogenic/abiogenic metal cations
- metal binding/selectivity
- metal toxicity
- health-beneficial effect