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Annu Rev Nutr. 2002;22:439-58. Epub 2002 Apr 4.

Ceruloplasmin metabolism and function.

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Edward Mallinckrodt Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Ceruloplasmin is a serum ferroxidase that contains greater than 95% of the copper found in plasma. This protein is a member of the multicopper oxidase family, an evolutionarily conserved group of proteins that utilize copper to couple substrate oxidation with the four-electron reduction of oxygen to water. Despite the need for copper in ceruloplasmin function, this protein plays no essential role in the transport or metabolism of this metal. Aceruloplasminemia is a neurodegenerative disease resulting from inherited loss-of-function mutations in the ceruloplasmin gene. Characterization of this disorder revealed a critical physiological role for ceruloplasmin in determining the rate of iron efflux from cells with mobilizable iron stores and has provided new insights into human iron metabolism and nutrition.

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