Advances in the understanding of mammalian copper transporters.Adv Nutr. 2011 Mar; 2(2):129-37.AN
Copper (Cu) is an essential micronutrient. Its ability to exist in 2 oxidation states (Cu(1+) and Cu(2+)) allows it to function as an enzymatic cofactor in hydrolytic, electron transfer, and oxygen utilization reactions. Cu transporters CTR1, ATP7A, and ATP7B play key roles in ensuring that adequate Cu is available for Cu-requiring processes and the prevention of excess Cu accumulation within cells. Two diseases of Cu metabolism, Menkes disease and Wilson disease, which are caused by mutations in ATP7A and ATP7B, respectively, exemplify the critical importance of regulating Cu balance in humans. Herein, we review recent studies of the biochemical and cell biological characteristics of CTR1, ATP7A, and ATP7B, as well as emerging roles for Cu in new areas of physiology.