Chemistry of the Transport of Nutrient Copper in Biological Cells

Grant number: DP1093345 | Funding period: 2010 - 2014



Nutrient trace metals such as copper are needed for enzymes by living organisms but are toxic in excess. Defects in copper metabolism cause Menkes and Wilson diseases in humans and there are direct connections to neurodegenerative diseases (eg, Alzheimer, Parkinson, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, motor neuron diseases). It is crucial to understand how healthy cells control toxic but essential copper so that enlightened intervention is possible when disturbances of copper metabolism become pathological. The chemistry of key molecules will be studied to reveal their essential properties and thereby to understand the molecular basis of the copper-linked diseases.

University of Melbourne Researchers