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CHAPTER 27

Aluminium

Aluminium is the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust and yet, paradoxically, it has no known biological function. Aluminium is biochemically reactive, it is simply that it is not required for any essential process in extant biota. Since there is evidence of neither element-specific nor evolutionarily conserved aluminium biochemistry, it could be surmised that there are no ligands or chaperones for its transport, there are no transporters or channels to facilitate its passage across membranes, there are no intracellular storage proteins and there are no pathways to enable its metabolism and excretion. Of course, aluminium is found in every compartment of every cell of every organism, from virus through to Man, and herein I have investigated each of the “silent” pathways and metabolic events, which together constitute a form of aluminium homeostasis in biota, identifying and evaluating as far as is possible what is known and, equally importantly, what is unknown about its uptake, transport, storage and excretion.

Publication details


Print publication date
28 Jul 2014
Copyright year
2014
Print ISBN
978-1-84973-599-5
PDF eISBN
978-1-84973-997-9
ePub eISBN
978-1-78262-282-6
From the book series:
Metallobiology