Archive for the ‘Themed Issue’ Category

Cellular transport and homeostasis of essential and nonessential metals

The first article in our Metals in Genetics themed issue is now published online!  This themed issue will showcase work presented at the International Conference on Metals and Genetics (ICMG2011) held in Kobe, Japan in September last year.

This Minireview by Michael Aschner and colleagues from Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, Nashville, USA, provides an overview of essential (Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn) and nonessential (Al, As, Cd, Pb and Hg) metal transport and homeostatic processes in cells.  To find out more, click on the link below – you can access this article for free until the 9th March 2012!

Cellular transport and homeostasis of essential and nonessential metals, Ebany J. Martinez-Finley, Sudipta Chakraborty, Stephanie J. B. Fretham and Michael Aschner, Metallomics, 2012, DOI: 10.1039/C2MT00185C

Keep a look out for our themed issue on Metals in Genetics which will be published later this year…

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Themed issue on Metal Toxicity published

Metallomics 2011, Issue 11 covers

Metallomics, 2011, 3(11): 1083-1254

Our themed issue on Metal Toxicity is now online!  Guest Edited by Chris Rensing of the University of Arizona and Gregor Grass of the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, this issue contains a collection of reviews and research papers on an important and sometimes controversial topic.

Chris and Gregor introduce the issue in their Editorial:

Metal toxicity
Gregor Grass, Ludger Rensing and Christopher Rensing
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT90048J

The front cover of the issue features a Minireview from Oded Lewinson and Joshua Klein of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.  They look at bacterial ATP-driven transporters of transition metals and discuss how each system is adapted to perform its specific task from mechanistic and structural perspectives.  Despite the differences, there is one important commonality: in many clinically relevant bacterial pathogens, transporters of transition metals are essential for virulence.

Minireview: Bacterial ATP-driven transporters of transition metals: physiological roles, mechanisms of action, and roles in bacterial virulence
Joshua S. Klein and Oded Lewinson
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00073J

Featured on the inside front cover is a Critical Review from Raymond Turner and colleagues from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada which explains the ‘-omics’ approach of metabolomics and how it can be applied to study a physiological response to toxic metal exposure.  A frank evaluation of the approach is given to provide newcomers to the method a clear idea of the challenges and the rewards of applying metabolomics to their research.

Critical Review: Metabolomics and its application to studying metal toxicity
Sean C. Booth, Matthew L. Workentine, Aalim M. Weljie and Raymond J. Turner
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00070E

The cover articles will be free for 6 weeks, and do take a look at the full themed issue.

We’d like to thank the Guest Editors and all the authors for their contribution to putting the issue together, and we hope that you enjoy reading it.

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Meet Chris Rensing

Prof. Chris Rensing

Prof. Chris Rensing, Guest Editor of our upcoming issue on Metal Toxicity

We will soon be publishing our themed issue on Metal Toxicity, Guest Edited by Gregor Grass and Chris Rensing.  Chris is an Associate Professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona, and he took the time to tell us about himself.  Read on to find out why he became a scientist, what he’s most proud of in his career and why he feels metal toxicity deserved a Metallomics issue of its own…

You’re a Guest Editor for the Metallomics themed issue on Metal Toxicity.  Why is this area important and interesting?

Almost half of known enzymes contain a metal co-factor, so metals are a requisite for life but can be toxic if in excess. This was known for a long time but not what the actual targets of individual metals inside the cell were. Instead you are confronted with a plethora of false claims and half truths when searching the literature for mechanisms of metal toxicity. So we thought it would be of great help to scientists working in this area to have a special issue dealing with precisely this topic. It’s important because it influences everything from neuroscience (see the recent themed issue on Metals in Neurodegenerative Diseases) to climate change.

What’s hot at the moment in this field?

The tug of war over metals in pathogenesis. Macrophages will attempt to withhold manganese and iron from the invading pathogens while, at the same time, using copper to kill them. Bacteria will do the opposite to survive: take up manganese and iron while keeping out excess copper. A better understanding of these processes might lead to more effective antimicrobial drugs.

You’ve contributed a review on copper toxicity; how did you become interested in this area?  What projects are you working on at the moment?

When I was working in the lab of Barry Rosen as a post-doc, I started out working on ZntA, the Zn(II),Cd(II),Pb(II)-translocating P-type ATPase when the E. coli genome sequence came out and showed there is only one other putative metal-transporting P-type ATPase present. We decided to find out what substrate it transported and that turned out to be copper and silver, and was thus named CopA.  A deletion of copA, however, was still pretty resistant to copper so when my first post-doc, Gregor Grass, arrived we decided to find out what other genes contributed to copper resistance. That is how our studies on the multicopper oxidase CueO and the RND transport system CusCFBA got started.

Which of your previous research are you most proud of?

Transport measurement with radioactive isotopes can be quite exhilarating, if successful, so the two moments when I finally got ZntA and CopA to transport zinc and copper respectively was a special occasion.  More recently, characterizing bacterial arsenic methylation and figuring out how the periplasmic copper effluc pump CusCFBA works.

You started your career in Germany and have been in the USA for many years now.  What are the similarities and differences between the scientific communities of both places?

In the United States, there are many more faculty positions because you have to basically raise your own money for research. In Germany a typical faculty position will automatically support a few positions even without obtaining a grant.  The good thing in the US, therefore, is that they at least give you a fighting chance; the down side is that you might quickly not have a research program anymore. Of course, the Germans will typically not see it that way because they enjoy complaining! (We’ll let Chris get away with that because he’s German himself)

In my own judgement (and I can only talk about what I have observed), scientific debate in the US is often very tame and polite, which can prevent open and honest discussion because you worry about being misunderstood.  Honest scientific debate at your own institution can also be quite tricky as nobody wants to rock the (financial) boat.

What inspires you, both professionally and personally?

The unknown. I like figuring out how things work, get to know new people or accept a new challenge.

Collaborations form a large part of modern scientific research. Which scientist, past or present, would you really like to work with?

There are quite a number I admire. I would say Francis Crick in the past and today Ham Smith and Craig Venter. I used to box and I like to listen to the Ali swagger in science too.

At what stage did you decide to become a scientist? Did you consider any other careers?

I was pretty bad at the other avenues I tried! My bands went nowhere, my reflexes were too slow for professional boxing and as a DJ, well…  I sometimes jokingly used to say “Last Resort scientist”. (That’s a play on words since the Last Resort is a skinhead shop in London and yes, I used to wear my Ben Sherman shirts and Doc Martens.)

Seriously, I was always interested in science and have many pleasant memories visiting my dad at the II. Zoologische Institut in Göttingen (Chris’ dad, Ludger, is a biologist who has contributed to the Editorial for the themed issue). So after doing my 18 month civil service I knew that science was where my passion was and what I wanted to do in the future.

Can you tell us a little known fact about yourself?

I used to have a crush on Rhoda Dakar of the Bodysnatchers, a Ska band from the early eighties.  She still looks sharp in her fifties. More embarrassing than that, I still don’t use Endnote.

Finally, what advice would you give to young scientists today?

It is a great time to get into science. Getting your own genome sequenced will cost about $1000 very soon and will revolutionize the medical field among many other things. Work on the human microbiome has really only started, again with tremendous future opportunities. Get a good foundation in a well-funded lab to learn the tools of the trade but also get training in an area that most find too difficult.  Then, go for an area that is just opening up due to new technological advances.

We’d like to thank Chris for taking the time to do this interview, and of course for all his work on the themed issue.  You can get a look of the review that he and Gregor have written here, and look out for the full themed issue coming very soon.

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Sneak peek at themed issue reviews

Why not take a look at some reviews that will be included in our upcoming themed issue on Metal Toxicity?

Minireview: Copper toxicity and the origin of bacterial resistance—new insights and applications
Christopher L. Dupont, Gregor Grass and Christopher Rensing
Metallomics, 2011, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00107H

Minireview: Genetic and epigenetic effects of environmental arsenicals
Toby G. Rossman and Catherine B. Klein
Metallomics, 2011, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00074H

Minireview: Cobalt stress in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica: molecular bases for toxicity and resistance
F. Barras and M. Fontecave
Metallomics, 2011, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00099C

Look out for the issue, which will be published soon and will contain some of the best recent work on aspects of metal toxicity.  In the meantime, these articles may also be of interest:

Cytotoxic copper(II) salicylaldehyde semicarbazone complexes: Mode of action and proteomic analysis
Wan Yen Lee, Peter Peng Foo Lee, Yaw Kai Yan and Mathew Lau

Metallomics, 2010, 2, 694-705
DOI: 10.1039/C0MT00016G

Ecotoxicological assessment of lanthanum with Caenorhabditis elegans in liquid medium
Haifeng Zhang, Xiao He, Wei Bai, Xiaomei Guo, Zhiyong Zhang, Zhifang Chai and Yuliang Zhao
Metallomics, 2010, 2, 806-810
DOI: 10.1039/C0MT00059K

Metallomics, 2010, 2, 806-810

Zhang and colleagues used C. elegans as a test organism to evaluate the aquatic toxicity of lanthanum (La), a representative of Rare Earth Elements (REEs)

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Metal-mediated protein aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases

The pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases is associated with intrinsically disordered proteins that interact with metals, misfold, and aggregate.

Read this interesting review from Leonid Breydo and Vladimir Uversky exploring timely and important questions surrounding the interaction of metal ions with intrinsically unstable proteins and how this leads to protein fibrillation.  Research in this area is paramount for understanding neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and prion disease, and hence developing protective strategies for them.

You can read the review for free until 6th October.

Role of metal ions in aggregation of intrinsically disordered proteins in neurodegenerative diseases
Leonid Breydo and Vladimir N. Uversky
Metallomics
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00106J

Breydo and Uversky mention a couple of papers from our Metals in Neurodegenerative Disease themed issue that we published earlier this year:

 Metallomics, 2011, 3(3):217-304

Metallomics, 2011, 3(3):217-304

Interactions of Zn(II) and Cu(II) ions with Alzheimer’s amyloid-beta peptide. Metal ion binding, contribution to fibrillization and toxicity
Vello Tõugu, Ann Tiiman and Peep Palumaa
Metallomics, 2011, 3, 250-261
DOI: 10.1039/C0MT00073F

Role of metal dyshomeostasis in Alzheimer’s disease
David J. Bonda, Hyoung-gon Lee, Jeffrey A. Blair, Xiongwei Zhu, George Perry and Mark A. Smith
Metallomics, 2011, 3, 267-270
DOI: 10.1039/C0MT00074D

Recap on Vladimir’s other Metallomics critical review from last year…

Metalloproteomics and metal toxicology of α-synuclein
Aaron Santner and Vladimir N. Uversky
Metallomics, 2010, 2, 378-392
DOI: 10.1039/B926659C

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Chromate vs Sulfur

Cellular chromium toxicity may be underpinned by its sulfur depleting action.

Simon Avery and Sara Holland from the University of Nottingham explain the current thinking on how chromium interferes in sulfur metabolism.  The minireview incorporates the interactions of chromium with cellular sulfur ligands, chromate uptake by sulfate transporteres as well as the implications of these findings in humans.

This is a model Metallomics paper and you can read it for free until the 13th September.

Chromate toxicity and the role of sulfur
Sara L. Holland and Simon V. Avery
Metallomics
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00059D

Avery and Holland’s review is due to be published in our themed issue on Metal Toxicity later in the year.  Below are some of the other papers due for inclusion in the Metal Toxicity issue that are already available online:

Development of highly effective three-component cytoprotective adjuncts for cisplatin cancer treatment: synthesis and in vivo evaluation in S180-bearing mice
Yuji Wang, Lei Wei, Ming Zhao, Shenghui Mei, Meiqing Zheng, Yifan Yang, Hong Wang, Gong Chen and Shiqi Peng
Metallomics
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00013F

Toxic elements in tobacco and in cigarette smoke: inflammation and sensitization
R. Steve Pappas
Metallomics
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00066G

Mechanisms of nickel toxicity in microorganisms
Lee Macomber and Robert P. Hausinger
Metallomics
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00063B

The oxidative stress of zinc deficiency
David J. Eide
Metallomics
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00064K

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The oxidative stress of zinc deficiency

Possible sources of reactive oxygen species in zinc-limited cells.

Zinc is incredibly important for correct cellular function, acting as an essential cofactor for up-to 10% of the proteins encoded by the human genome.  It acts as an antioxidant with increased reactive oxygen species production occurring as a result of zinc deficiency.

Read this minireview for free until 6th September for a summary of the current thinking on potential sources of oxidative stress in zinc deficiency and the homeostatic and regulatory methods which attempt to alleviate it.

The oxidative stress of zinc deficiency
David J. Eide
Metallomics
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00064K

This paper will be included in a themed issue on Metal Toxicity, Guest Edited by Gregor Grass ad Christopher Rensing, to be published later this year.

Metallomics, 2011, 2(5): 306-317

You might also like to read the review we featured on the inside front cover of issue 5 last year covering a similar topic…

Cytosolic zinc buffering and muffling: Their role in intracellularzinc homeostasis
Robert A. Colvin, William R. Holmes, Charles P. Fontaine and Wolfgang Maret
Metallomics, 2010, 2, 306-317
DOI: 10.1039/B926662C

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Metallomics themed issue – Metals and Genetics

Please note – submission deadline updated!

We are delighted to announce that Metallomics will be publishing a themed issue on the topic of  Metals and Genetics.

All papers presented at the upcoming International Conference on Metals and Genetics (ICMG2011), to be held in Kobe, Japan are invited for consideration in the issue.

The deadline for article to be submitted for the themed issue is 1st January 2012. Communications, Papers, Critical and Mini Reviews are all welcome. Please include in your covering letter that your article is for consideration in the themed issue, and submit through the journal website.

If you are attending ICMG2011 in September and would like to meet up – please do get in touch and I look forward to seeing you there!

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Themed issue now online: Metallomics in Japan

Metallomics, 2011, 3(7): 635-750

Our themed issue highlighting the best work in the field from Japan is now available online.

The guest editors introduce this issue:

Hiroki Haraguchi takes a look at the state of metallomics in Japan

- Hiroyuki Yasui gives an overview of the Metallomics Research Forum in Japan, from where papers for the issue were invited.

On the front cover, the unmistakeable beauty of Mt. Fuji provides the backdrop for the tutorial review by Toshiyuki Fukada and Taiho Kambe looking at the crucial roles of zinc transporters in biological phenomena.

Tutorial Review: Molecular and genetic features of zinc transporters in physiology and pathogenesis
Toshiyuki Fukada and Taiho Kambe
Metallomics, 2011, 3, 662-674
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00011J

The inside front cover cover highlights a communication from Ryota Saito and colleagues about zinc(II) complexes with in vitro insulin-mimetic activity, whilst capturing a message of hope in the face of the recent adversity faced in Japan.

Communication: Synthesis and in vitro insulin-mimetic activities of zinc(II) complexes of ethyl 2,5-dihydro-4-hydroxy-5-oxo-1H-pyrrole-3-carboxylates
Hikaru Kawarada, Yutaka Yoshikawa, Hiroyuki Yasui, Shunsuke Kuwahara, Yoichi Habata and Ryota Saito
Metallomics, 2011, 3, 675-679
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00009H

Both cover articles will be free to access for the next 5 weeks.

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Editorial for the Metallomics in Japan themed issue

The meeting was a great success, and Metallomics is delighted to publish papers from authors who presented

In this accompanying editorial, Professor Hiroyuki Yasui of Kyoto Pharmaceutical University gives his overview of the Metallomics Research Forum in Japan in his capacity as second Metallomics Research Forum Chairman:

First of all, we wish to express our heartfelt and deepest sympathy to all those who have been afflicted by the Big Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11, 2011 which struck the Pacific coast of the northeastern region of Japan. We have received a great many messages from overseas associates and fellowships, for which we offer our heartfelt acknowledgments. We wish full recovery to affected persons and cities before long.

It gives me immense pleasure to publish the special issue “Metallomics in Japan” that contains 8 papers, 3 communications, and 3 reviews, which were on the basis of the best highlighted presentations in the second Metallomics Research Forum in Kyoto on November 2-3, 2010.

The Metallomics Research Forum in Japan was first held in 2008 by Professor Shuichi Enomoto of Okayama University, and we had the second opportunity to host it with our staff and students in Kyoto Pharmaceutical University.  The aim of the forum is to share and integrate the recent advances at the cross-roads of research on the basic, clinical, and environmental studies of chemical and biological metal-ion sciences, in a comprehensive manner.  To this end, we were very gratified that there were over 120 participants who exchanged information and knowledge through the discussion of experimental and newly-found ideas.  It is hoped that this research forum will continue to contribute to the development of cutting-edge research and hot topics in the years of post-genomic study to stimulate the development of metallomics research in Japan.

This second forum in Japan featured two invited plenary lectures, six lectures for two symposiums (basic research and clinical study), 18 oral presentations, 32 poster presentations, and two extension lectures for general citizens from a variety of scientific backgrounds such as analytical chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, molecular and cellular biology, pharmacology, toxicology, medicine, and nutrition.

Professor Ashley I. Bush of the University of Melbourne from Australia presented very excellently on “The pivotal role of zinc in Alzheimer’s disease”. His lecture made us understand the importance of the mechanisms of metal ion-related life events, which will contribute surely to both the promotion of human health and prevention and treatment of human diseases.

Among the speakers in the symposium of basic research on analysis, molecular imaging, and physiology of metal ions, Dr Toshiyuki Fukada of RIKEN contributes a tutorial review to this issue on in collaboration with Associate Professor Taiho Kambe of Kyoto University*. This article features as the issue’s front cover.

Molecular and genetic features of zinc transporters in physiology and pathogenesis
Toshiyuki Fukada and Taiho Kambe
Metallomics, 2011, 3, 662-674
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00011J

(this article will be free to access for six weeks)

In addition, in the symposium of clinical study on metal ions-related pathogenesis such as cancer, heart disease, and internal pollution, Professor Shinya Toyokuni of Nagoya University had a nice talk about “The study and mechanism of iron excess-induced carcinogenesis”, and Dr Masashi Uwabu, a clinician, presented on the important topic of “Diagnosis and treatment of poisonous heavy metal ions in clinical practice of Japan”.

As the activities of young scientists are essential for future development of this research field, we presented both best oral and poster presentation prizes provided by the RSC, in which Associate Professor Shoichiro Asayama of Tokyo Metropolitan University had been awarded a best oral presentation prize, and Dr Yutaka Yoshikawa of Kyoto Pharmaceutical University and Dr Kazumi Inagaki of AIST had been awarded poster prizes.

Finally, I wish to express my appreciation to Dr May Copsey, the Editor of Metallomics, authors in this memorial and special issue, the organising committee members, conference participants, and many sponsoring companies for their generous assistance.

And we would like to thank Professor Yasui and all those involved with the themed issue.  Do head over to the journal homepage to take a look at the themed issue and all the excellent work from Japan that it highlights, including the Editorial from Professor Hiroki Haraguchi:

Editorial: Metallomics in Japan
Hiroki Haraguchi
Metallomics, 2011, 3, 648-649
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT90027G

*You can read an interview with our cover articles authors here.

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