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Abstract

BIOMETALS IN HEALTH AND DISEASE: A REVIEW

Debosree Ghosh*, Partha Sarathi Singha, Syed Benazir Firdaus, Pratap Parida, Debjani Ghosh

ABSTRACT

Any metal that has a biological function is termed as biometal. Such metals, with biological activities have wide applications in health, diseases, drug development and drug delivery studies. Metals are used in organic systems for diagnostic and treatment purposes. A normal balance of the concentration of a metal is maintained by the living system. If the balance is disturbed, leading to scarcity or excess quantities of any metal, the equilibrium is imbalanced and causes detrimental pathological situations. The normal balance must be returned to its natural state via interventional and natural methods. Some biometals like iron, magnesium etc. remain as integral part of certain biomolecules and are responsible for maintaining their stable three dimensional conformation .While some others like zinc, cobalt, copper, manganese etc. remain as cofactor of certain enzymes and contribute to their activities and bio potential. Some biometals like sodium, potassium etc. are responsible for maintaining the ion exchange potential across membranes in a biological membrane and also act as biochemical messengers in biological systems. Metals like calcium etc. Are necessary for bringing about certain biochemical processes. Iron, copper, chromium, vanadium, and cobalt are capable of redox cycling in which a single electron may be accepted or donated by the metal. Thus metals in biological systems, i.e., „Biometals‟ are of immense importance in research studies involving understanding of health, finding the mechanisms involved in pathogenesis of diseases and development of modern drugs with mechanistic approach against diseases.

Keywords: Biometals, biomolecules, diseases, health, medicines.


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