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Metallothionein-3, Zinc, and Copper in the Central Nervous System

Metallothionein-3 (MT-3), also known as the neuronal growth inhibitory factor, has been discovered by Uchida and coworkers in 1991 in their search for a cellular component responsible for antagonizing aberrant neuritic sprouting and increased survival of cultured neurons stimulated by Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain extract. Since this initial discovery further studies showed that MT-3 possesses peculiar structural and functional properties not shared by other members of the mammalian MT family. Several lines of evidence suggest that the metal-binding protein MT-3 plays a vital role in zinc and copper homeostasis in the brain. Although far from being understood, the unusual structural properties of MT-3 are responsible for its neuronal growth inhibitory activity, involvement in trafficking of zinc vesicles in the central nervous system, protection against copper-mediated toxicity in AD and in controlling abnormal metal-protein interactions in other neurodegenerative disorders.

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19 Jan 2009
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From the book series:
Metal Ions in Life Sciences