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Biology of metals

Iron release from transferrin induced by mixed ligand complexes of copper(II).


PMID 2490073

Abstract

Copper(II) complexes CuL1L2 with the ligand pairs 3-phosphoglycerate (PG)/ethylenediamine (en), phosphoserine (PS)/ethylenediamine, phosphoserine/malonate (mal) are shown to be effective in inducing the release of both iron atoms from di-ferric transferrin (Fe2Tf; human serum transferrin) at pH 7.3 in 1 M NaCl at 25 degrees C. Half-times of the reaction with Cu(PG)(en)- were less than 1 min at 0.02 M concentration. The iron(III) products are polynuclear hydroxo complexes. There is weaker interaction with Cu(PS)4-2 and virtually none with Cu(serine)(en) nor Cu(PS)(2,2'-bipyridyl)-, revealing crucial effects of the combined ligand sphere including the phosphomonoester group. The results suggest that the release of iron from Fe2Tf, or from either monoferric transferrins, occurred due to the breakdown of the stability of iron binding in conjunction with the expulsion of the synergistic anion carbonate (or oxalate). The active copper(II) complexes are postulated to be models of membrane components that could liberate iron from transferrin succeeding its uptake at the receptor sites of cells.

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