What can flies tell us about copper homeostasis?

Metallomics : integrated biometal science (2013-08-02)
Adam Southon, Richard Burke, James Camakaris
RESUMO

Copper (Cu) is an essential redox active metal that is potentially toxic in excess. Multicellular organisms acquire Cu from the diet and must regulate uptake, storage, distribution and export of Cu at both the cellular and organismal levels. Systemic Cu deficiency can be fatal, as seen in Menkes disease patients. Conversely Cu toxicity occurs in patients with Wilson disease. Cu dyshomeostasis has also been implicated in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Over the last decade, the fly Drosophila melanogaster has become an important model organism for the elucidation of eukaryotic Cu regulatory mechanisms. Gene discovery approaches with Drosophila have identified novel genes with conserved protein functions relevant to Cu homeostasis in humans. This review focuses on our current understanding of Cu uptake, distribution and export in Drosophila and the implications for mammals.

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