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Structure investigation of metal clusters in plant metallothioneins with X-ray crystallography and spectroscopic methods

English title Structure investigation of metal clusters in plant metallothioneins with X-ray crystallography and spectroscopic methods
Applicant Freisinger Eva
Number 105269
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Chemie Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Inorganic Chemistry
Start/End 01.11.2004 - 31.10.2006
Approved amount 144'470.00
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Keywords (9)

plant metallothionein; X-ray crystallography; metal-thiolate clusters; UV spectroscopy; circular dichroism; luminescence; UV; spectroscopy; potentiometric titrations

Lay Summary (English)

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Lay summary
Metals are essential for life but depending on the concentration and sortof metal ion they can also exhibit a considerable amount of toxicity.Metallothionein (MT) is one of the fascinating molecules that bind metalions within the cells. Generally, metallothioneins are a family of smallmetalloproteins with an outstanding high cysteine and d10 metal ioncontent. MTs play a role in the homeostasis of essential metal ions, mostnotably Zn(II) and Cu(I), and the detoxification of heavy metals, such asCd(II) or Hg(II). Additionally, participation in gene regulation isdiscussed. MTs occur in nearly all kingdoms of life, but little is knownabout the plant isoforms. In the scope of this project, thethree-dimensional structure of plant MTs and their spectroscopic featureswill be elucidated, a key factor in understanding their function. Withthis new knowledge it might be possible to genetically optimize metalbinding properties or even metal ion specificity of this proteins. Suchmodified plants might be able to grow in polluted areas or even might beused to remove specific heavy metals from the environment(phytoremidation), especially from mining areas and land used by heavymetal releasing manufacturing industry.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
139194 A. Structures and properties of plant metallothioneins and related artificial proteins - B. Site specific modifications of larger nucleic acids 01.06.2012 SNSF Professorships
175623 Cluster diversity in plant and fungi metallothioneins - Properties and structures as a gate to functions 01.10.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)
119106 A. Structures and properties of plant metallothioneins and related artificial proteins - B. Site specific modifications of larger nucleic acids 01.06.2008 SNSF Professorships
153666 Structures, folding, and metallation pathways of metallothioneins from plants and fungi 01.06.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)
113728 Structures and properties of plant metallothioneins 01.11.2006 Project funding (Div. I-III)

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