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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2006 Jun;9(3):256-63. Epub 2006 Apr 17.

Copper cofactor delivery in plant cells.

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Biology Department and Program in Molecular Plant Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1878, USA.


Copper (Cu) is a micronutrient that has roles in photosynthesis, respiration, antioxidant activity, cell wall metabolism and hormone perception. Excess Cu is toxic and therefore its delivery has to be tightly regulated. Recent progress in the study of Cu homeostasis has revealed not only components of the Cu delivery machinery but also regulatory systems that control Cu-protein expression and coordinate the activity of Cu-delivery systems. The response of photosynthetic organisms to Cu deficiency indicates the existence of cross-talk between metal cofactor delivery pathways. Next to its well-established roles in plant metabolism, a novel function for Cu, first discovered in plants, is in the biogenesis of molybdenum cofactor. Defects in Cu delivery factors also suggest important roles for Cu in cell expansion.

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