University of California at Berkeley, USA

Transition Metal Signaling: Bioinorganic Chemistry Beyond Active Sites


Metals are essential for all forms of life, and the traditional view of this biological inorganic chemistry is that mobile fluxes of redox-innocent metals like sodium, potassium, calcium, and zinc are used as dynamic signals while redox-active transition metals like copper and iron must be buried and protected as static metabolic cofactors to prevent oxidative stress. We are advancing a new paradigm of transition metal signaling, using copper and iron as primary examples to show how such elements can influence neural circuitry and regulate fundamental behaviors such as eating and sleeping. This presentation will focus on our latest efforts to study metals in neurobiology using activity-based sensing (ABS) approaches for imaging and proteomics of dynamic transition metal pools.