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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2000 Apr;4(2):184-91.

Metals and neuroscience.

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  • Laboratory for Oxidation Biology, Genetics and Aging Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital East, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA. bush@helix.mgh.harvard.edu


Data are now rapidly accumulating to show that metallochemical reactions might be the common denominator underlying Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, prion diseases, cataracts, mitochondrial disorders and Parkinson's disease. In these disorders, an abnormal reaction between a protein and a redox-active metal ion (copper or iron) promotes the formation of reactive oxygen species or radicalization. It is especially intriguing how the powerful catalytic redox activity of antioxidant Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase can convert into a pro-oxidant activity, a theme echoed in the recent proposal that Abeta and PrP, the proteins respectively involved in Alzheimer's disease and prion diseases, possess similar redox activities.

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