Copper brain homeostasis: Role of amyloid precursor protein and prion protein

Nibaldo C. Inestrosa, Waldo Cerpa, Lorena Varela-Nallar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The main proteins associated with Alzheimer's and prion diseases (amyloid precursor protein (APP) and prion protein (PrPC), respectively, have binding sites for copper and it has therefore been suggested that they play a role in copper metabolism. Here, we review evidence indicating that the copper binding domains (CuBD) of APP and PrPC are able to modulate the oxidation state of copper, and prevent neurotoxic effects and memory impairments induced by copper. Results with transgenic and other animal models have established the relation between these pathogenic proteins and copper. In particular, APP transgenic models, suggest a beneficial effect for copper in AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-650
Number of pages6
JournalIUBMB Life
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005


  • APP
  • Copper
  • Copper binding domain
  • Metal homeostasis
  • Prion protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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