Transition metal ions can be both beneficial and harmful to biological systems if not carefully regulated. A family of proteins that include a conserved sequence in their binding site of MXCXXC is responsible for delivery and homeostasis of different metals. Model studies present an effective tool for studying the parameters governing metal affinity, selectivity and other mechanistic aspects. Small-molecule, peptide-based, and advanced models will be presented, as well as functional models of potential industrial applications.
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