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Chelators in Iron and Copper Toxicity

Lawson, MK, Cronin, MTD, Valko, M and Jomová, K (2016) Chelators in Iron and Copper Toxicity. Current Pharmacology Reports, 2 (6). pp. 271-280. ISSN 2198-641X

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Purpose of Review Chelation therapy is used for diseases causing an imbalance of iron levels (for example haemochromatosis and thalassaemia) or copper levels (for example Menkes’ and Wilson’s diseases). Currently, most pharmaceutical chelators are relatively simple but often have side effects. Some have been taken off the market. This review attempts to find theory and knowledge required to design or find better chelators. Recent Findings Recent research attempting to understand the biological mechanisms of protection against iron and copper toxicity is reviewed. Understanding of molecular mechanisms behind normal iron/copper regulation may lead to the design of more sophisticated chelators. The theory of metal ion toxicity explains why some chelators, such as EDTA, which chelate metal ions in a way which exposes the ion to the surrounding environment are shown to be unsuitable except as a means of killing cancer cells. The Lewis theory of acids and bases suggests which amino acids favour the attachment of the hard/intermediate ions Fe2+, Fe3+, Cu2+ and soft ion Cu+. Non-polar amino acids will chelate the ion in a position not in contact with the surrounding cellular environment. The conclusion is that only the soft ion binding cysteine and methionine appear as suitable chelators. Clearly, nature has developed proteins which are less restricted. Recent research on naturally produced chelators such as siderophores and phytochemicals show some promise as pharmaceuticals. Summary Although an understanding of natural mechanisms of Fe/Cu regulation continues to increase, the pharmaceutical chelators for metal overload diseases remain simple non-protein molecules. Natural and synthetic alternatives have been studied but require further research before being accepted.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40495-016-0068-8
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions: Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2017 10:04
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2022 09:28
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/s40495-016-0068-8
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5520
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