Metals and Hormones!

Heffern Lab research highlight

The Heffern lab has published a review article on an emerging field for which they have coined the term “metalloendocrinology.” The article “Metal-dependent hormone function: the emerging interdisciplinary field of metalloendocrinology” has recently appeared in the journal Metallomics. Metals are essential micronutrients in living organisms and must be tightly regulated for proper function and utilization, as their misregulation can cause adverse effects in nutrition and health. In fact it is estimated that at least one-third of all proteins require metals for function. As the body’s primary organ-organ communication network, the endocrine system requires coordination of dynamic biochemistry from a molecular level to the whole organism. Although previously studied as toxic disruptors of endocrine function, increasing research is illuminating the intricate roles of metal ions in the endocrine system where they may act advantageously in concert with hormones or deleteriously catalyze hormone associated disease states. As the critical role of metal ions in the endocrine system becomes more apparent, it is increasingly important to untangle the complex mechanisms underlying the connections between inorganic biochemistry and hormone function.

More information at 10.1039/C8MT00221E