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J Exp Biol. 2000 Jun;203(Pt 12):1777-82.

Cops and robbers: putative evolution of copper oxygen-binding proteins.

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Institute for Molecular Biophysics, University of Mainz, Germany.


Two closely related copper proteins, phenoloxidase and haemocyanin, are known to be involved in different physiological functions such as the primary immune response and oxygen transport. Although the proteins differ structurally, they have the same active site by which dioxygen is bound. Recent results reveal that haemocyanin also exhibits phenoloxidase activity. A scenario is proposed for the evolutionary relationships among copper oxygen-binding proteins (COPs).

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