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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(1), 66; doi:10.3390/ijms17010066

The Metals in the Biological Periodic System of the Elements: Concepts and Conjectures

London Iron Metabolism Group, Division of Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences and Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London, 150 Stamford St., London SE1 9NH, UK
Academic Editor: Reinhard Dallinger
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 21 December 2015 / Accepted: 22 December 2015 / Published: 5 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Metabolism in Animals)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [906 KB, uploaded 26 January 2016]   |  

Abstract

A significant number of chemical elements are either essential for life with known functions, or present in organisms with poorly defined functional outcomes. We do not know all the essential elements with certainty and we know even less about the functions of apparently non-essential elements. In this article, I discuss a basis for a biological periodic system of the elements and that biochemistry should include the elements that are traditionally part of inorganic chemistry and not only those that are in the purview of organic chemistry. A biological periodic system of the elements needs to specify what “essential” means and to which biological species it refers. It represents a snapshot of our present knowledge and is expected to undergo further modifications in the future. An integrated approach of biometal sciences called metallomics is required to understand the interactions of metal ions, the biological functions that their chemical structures acquire in the biological system, and how their usage is fine-tuned in biological species and in populations of species with genetic variations (the variome). View Full-Text
Keywords: essential metals; non-essential metals; periodic system of the elements; metallomics essential metals; non-essential metals; periodic system of the elements; metallomics
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Maret, W. The Metals in the Biological Periodic System of the Elements: Concepts and Conjectures. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 66.

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