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FEBS J. 2005 Apr;272(7):1739-44.

Neptunium uptake by serum transferrin.

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CEA Marcoule, Bagnols sur C├Ęze Cedex, France.


Although of major impact in terms of biological and environmental hazards, interactions of actinide cations with biological molecules are only partially understood. Human serum transferrin (Tf) is one of the major iron carriers in charge of iron regulation in the cell cycle and consequently contamination by actinide cations is a critical issue of nuclear toxicology. Combined X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and near infrared absorption spectrometry were used to characterize a new complex between Tf and Np (IV) with the synergistic nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) anion. Description of the neptunium polyhedron within the iron coordination site is given.

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