Author(s): Hidalgo J, Aschner M, Zatta P, Vask M
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Abstract Metallothioneins (MTs) constitute a family of proteins characterized by a high heavy metal [Zn(II), Cu(I)] content and also by an unusual cysteine abundance. Mammalian MTs are comprised of four major isoforms designated MT-1 trough MT-4. MT-1 and MT-2 are expressed in most tissues including the brain, whereas MT-3 (also called growth inhibitory factor) and MT-4 are expressed predominantly in the central nervous system and in keratinizing epithelia, respectively. All MT isoforms have been implicated in disparate physiological functions, such as zinc and copper metabolism, protection against reactive oxygen species, or adaptation to stress. In the case of MT-3, an additional involvement of this isoform in neuromodulatory events and in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease has also been suggested. It is essential to gain insight into how MTs are regulated in the brain in order to characterize MT functions, both in normal brain physiology, as well as in pathophysiological states. The focus of this review concerns the biology of the MT family in the context of their expression and functional roles in the central nervous system.
This article was published in Brain Res Bull
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques