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Am J Clin Nutr. 1996 May;63(5):797S-811S.

Copper biochemistry and molecular biology.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, California State University, Fullerton 92634, USA.


In this review, our basic and most recent understanding of copper biochemistry and molecular biology for mammals (including humans) is described. Information is provided on the nutritional biochemistry of copper, including food sources, intestinal absorption, transport, tissue distribution, and excretion, along with descriptions of copper binding proteins and other factors involved and their roles in these processes. The metabolism of copper and its importance for the functions of a roster of vital enzymes is detailed. Its potential toxicology is also addressed. Alterations in copper metabolism associated with genetic and nongenetic diseases are summarized, including potential connections to inflammation, cancer, atherosclerosis, and anemia, and the effects of genetic copper deficiency (Menkes syndrome) and copper overload (Wilson disease). Understanding these diseases suggests new ways of viewing the normal functions of copper and provides new insights into the details of copper transport and distribution in mammals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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