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Issue 10, 2011
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The biological occurrence and trafficking of cobalt

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Cobalt is an essential trace element in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Nevertheless, it occurs less frequently in metalloproteins than other transition metals. This low occurrence appears to be due to the metal's low abundance in nature as well as its competition with iron, whose biologically critical functions include respiration and photosynthesis. In this review, we discuss the biological role of cobalt, the major effects of cobalt on iron utilization, as well as several mechanisms that cells have developed to circumvent the toxicity of cobalt while still exploiting its chemistry.

Graphical abstract: The biological occurrence and trafficking of cobalt

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The article was received on 26 May 2011, accepted on 19 Jul 2011 and first published on 01 Aug 2011

Article type: Minireview
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00056J
Citation: Metallomics, 2011,3, 963-970
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    The biological occurrence and trafficking of cobalt

    S. Okamoto and L. D. Eltis, Metallomics, 2011, 3, 963
    DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00056J

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