Neurotransmission and sensory perception are shaped through metal ion–protein interactions in various brain regions. The term "metalloneurochemistry" defines the unique field of bioinorganic chemistry focusing on these processes, and zinc has been the leading target of metalloneurochemists in the almost 15 years since the definition was introduced. Zinc in the hippocampus interacts with receptors that dictate ion flow and neurotransmitter release. Understanding the intricacies of these interactions is crucial to uncovering the role that zinc plays in learning and memory. Based on receptor similarities and zinc-enriched neurons (ZENs) in areas of the brain responsible for sensory perception, such as the olfactory bulb (OB), and dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN), zinc participates in odor and sound perception. Development and improvement of methods which allow for precise detection and immediate manipulation of zinc ions in neuronal cells and in brain slices will be critical in uncovering the synaptic action of zinc and, more broadly, the bioinorganic chemistry of cognition.
Review Article| May 09 2017
The zinc paradigm for metalloneurochemistry
Chelsea A. Barr;
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Stephen J. Lippard, Jeremy M. Berg, Chelsea A. Barr, Shawn C. Burdette; The zinc paradigm for metalloneurochemistry. Essays Biochem 9 May 2017; 61 (2): 225–235. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/EBC20160073
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