Copper - A \dqmodern\dq bioelement

, und . Angewandte Chemie, International Edition in English 35 (1): 43--60 (1996)


A review, with 133 refs. Copper is a bioessential element with truly unique chem. characteristics in its two relevant oxidn. states +I and +II. Significant progress has been made in recent years in the elucidation of the frequently surprising biochem. of this trace element. Those advances were esp. furthered through mutual stimulation involving results from biochem., mol. biol., and medicine on one hand and the synthesis as well as the structural and spectroscopic characterization of low mol. wt. model complexes on the other. The most notable features of protein-bound active copper are its almost exclusive function in the metab. of O2 or N/O compds. (NO2-, N2O) and its frequent assocn. with oxidizing org. and inorg. radicals such as tyrosyl, semiquinones, superoxide, or nitrosyl. This unique biol. role of copper can be rationalized given its chem. and assumed evolutionary background. on SciFinder(R)

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