Special Issue "Metals and Metal Complexes in Diseases with a Focus on COVID-19: Facts and Opinions"

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2022 | Viewed by 1731

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Agnieszka Ścibior
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Oxidative Stress, Department of Biomedicine and Environmental Research, Faculty of Science and Health, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Konstantynów 1J, 20-708 Lublin, Poland
Interests: effects of selected elements on the cells and mammalian organisms; consequences of metal interactions; mechanisms of metal toxicity
Prof. Dr. Manuel Aureliano
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
1. Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT), Campus de Gambelas, Universidade do Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
2. CCMAR, Campus de Gambelas, Universidade do Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
Interests: role and applications of metals in molecular sciences; decavanadate biochemistry; polyoxometalate (POM) interactions with proteins; metals and biomedical applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Alvin A. Holder
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA
Interests: biological and inorganic chemistry; bioinorganic and inorganic reaction mechanisms; synthesis, characterization, and biomedical uses of metal complexes
Prof. Dr. Juan Llopis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology “José Mataix Verdú”, Department of Physiology, Biomedical Research Center, University of Granada, Avda del Conocimiento sn., 18100 Armilla, Granada, Spain
Interests: nutrition; micronutrients; metals; nanoparticles
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

The year 2020 was a year like no other, with the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent health crisis profoundly impacting our lives, not to mention the worldwide consequences for education and research, which will take time to elucidate but are predicted to be particularly dramatic. Add to that the profound loss of loved ones and it is easy to lose hope, but we must hold on to the belief that better times are ahead. 

Professionals in the fields of education and research know that certain trace elements (such as copper, cobalt, nickel, and zinc) are considered potential candidates for therapeutic applications. Vanadium, due to its unique features and multidirectional biological activity, has also been attracting interest in many research centers worldwide as a potential candidate in the treatment of certain human diseases such as cancer and diabetes, as well as bacterial and viral illness. Other metals, which are not essential to life, such as platinum, ruthenium, iridium, rhodium, and gold, are also pharmacologically interesting; hence, they are extensively being investigated in biology and used to biomedical applications.

The number of studies on the use of metals and metal-containing compounds in medicine is continually growing. However, despite the progress made in recent years in the study of the pharmacological activity of various metal-containing complexes, further analyses are needed. There are certain aspects which must be elaborated on before metal-containing species can be used as metallopharmaceuticals in the future. These include an examination of the susceptibility of different cells/tissues to the effects of metal-containing compounds; recognition of key factors (ligands) that may affect the mode of their action; identification of metal-containing species as an important factor in the assessment of their toxicity and the mechanisms of action; examination of well-defined forms of metals in terms of their selectivity, specificity, transport, distribution, interference in the signal transduction pathways, and the mechanisms of absorption and excretion thereof; and direct or indirect correlations between the biological effects of metal-containing compounds (including polyoxometalates) and metal-containing complexes with effects observed in cancer, diabetes, and neurological disorders. Additionally, it has been emphasized that therapeutic targets, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics have to be clarified in detail in order to design metal-based drugs more efficiently.

We invite authors to submit original research exploring biological metals and diseases, the pharmacological activity of metallodrugs, clinical studies, and/or review reports on promising metals and metal-based drug candidates with a focus on strategies aiming to improve their pharmacological features and on links between metal-based agents and potential therapies for human pathologies with a mechanistic analysis. Bearing in mind the current COVID-19 pandemic, we also invite researchers to submit papers on recent data on critical factors—among others, biologically important metal ions such as Ca2+ and Zn2+—that can influence COVID-19-related susceptibility, severity, and mortality.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • New data on trace element status in COVID-19 patients ;
  • Metals susceptibility and severity of COVID-19;
  • Molecular mechanisms related to COVID-19 and therapeutic strategies;
  • Metal and metal–organic complexes targeting viruses and treatment of a wide range of diseases;
  • Current areas with the most emphasis on metallobased metal center pharmacology;
  • Novel therapeutic metal-based agents having an impact on medicinal practice;
  • Biological metals and diseases;
  • Diseases and symptoms induced by metal implants;
  • Latest progress in the design of pharmacologically active complexes comprising metals and a risk associated with their toxicity;
  • Metal chelation therapy to treat diseases;
  • Metal biological targets and diseases;
  • Design and pharmacological evaluation of novel metal-containing compounds as promising future metallodrugs (synthesis, structure analysis, properties, in vitro/in vivo effects);
  • Identification of molecular targets and mechanistic details of potential metal-based drugs: implications of oxidative stress;
  • Cancer and diabetic mechanistic relationship for metal-containing compounds (including polyoxometalates);
  • Mechanistic relationship between metal and metal-containing compounds (including polyoxometalates) with effects observed in putative biological targets and/or changes in protein expression and/or enzymatic activity;
  • Stability and speciation of metal and metal-containing compounds (including polyoxometalates) in biological solutions.
Dr. Agnieszka Ścibior
Prof. Dr. Manuel Aureliano
Dr. Alvin A. Holder
Prof. Dr. Juan Llopis 
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • new data on trace element status in COVID-19 patients
  • metals susceptibility and severity of COVID-19
  • molecular mechanisms related to COVID-19 and therapeutic strategies
  • metal and metal–organic complexes targeting viruses and treatment of a wide range of diseases
  • current areas with the most emphasis on metallobased metal center pharmacology
  • novel therapeutic metal-based agents having an impact on medicinal practice
  • biological metals and diseases
  • diseases and symptoms induced by metal implants
  • latest progress in the design of pharmacologically active complexes comprising metals and a risk associated with their toxicity
  • metal chelation therapy to treat diseases
  • metal biological targets and diseases
  • design and pharmacological evaluation of novel metal-containing compounds as promising future metallodrugs (synthesis, structure analysis, properties, in vitro/in vivo effects)
  • identification of molecular targets and mechanistic details of potential metal-based drugs: implications of oxidative stress
  • cancer and diabetic mechanistic relationship for metal-containing compounds (including polyoxometalates)
  • mechanistic relationship between metal and metal-containing compounds (including polyoxometalates) with effects observed in putative biological targets and/or changes in protein expression and/or enzymatic activity
  • stability and speciation of metal and metal-containing compounds (including polyoxometalates) in biological solutions

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

Review
The Role of Zinc and Copper in Platelet Activation and Pathophysiological Thrombus Formation in Patients with Pulmonary Embolism in the Course of SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Biology 2022, 11(5), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11050752 - 14 May 2022
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Abstract
To date, many studies have proved that COVID-19 increases the incidence of thrombus formation and coagulopathies but the exact mechanism behind such a disease outcome is not well known. In this review we collect the information and discuss the pathophysiology of thrombus formation [...] Read more.
To date, many studies have proved that COVID-19 increases the incidence of thrombus formation and coagulopathies but the exact mechanism behind such a disease outcome is not well known. In this review we collect the information and discuss the pathophysiology of thrombus formation in patients with pulmonary embolism in the course of COVID-19 disease and the role of zinc and copper in the process. Supplementation of zinc and copper may be beneficial for COVID-19 patients due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. On the other hand, excess of those microelements in the organism may be harmful, that is why marking the level of those micronutrients should be done at first. We also propose further investigation of diagnostic and therapeutic options of zinc and copper in course of COVID-19 thrombus formation to their potential in patient care, with particular emphasis on the dosage and the duration of their misbalance. Full article
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Review
Elements and COVID-19: A Comprehensive Overview of Studies on Their Blood/Urinary Levels and Supplementation with an Update on Clinical Trials
Biology 2022, 11(2), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11020215 - 28 Jan 2022
Viewed by 731
Abstract
The current report provides a brief overview of the clinical features, hematological/biochemical abnormalities, biomarkers, and AI-related strategies in COVID-19; presents in a nutshell the pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapeutic options; and concisely summarizes the most important aspects related to sociodemographic and behavioral factors as [...] Read more.
The current report provides a brief overview of the clinical features, hematological/biochemical abnormalities, biomarkers, and AI-related strategies in COVID-19; presents in a nutshell the pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapeutic options; and concisely summarizes the most important aspects related to sociodemographic and behavioral factors as well as comorbidities having an impact on this disease. It also gives a brief outline of the effect of selected elements on immune response and collects data on the levels of micro-/macro-elements and toxic metals in the blood/urine of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients and on supplementation with minerals in COVID-19 subjects. Moreover, this review provides an overview of clinical trials based on the use of minerals alone or in combination with other agents that can provide effective responses toward SARS-CoV-2 infection. The knowledge compiled in this report lays the groundwork for new therapeutic treatments and further research on biomarkers that should be as informative as possible about the patient’s condition and can provide more reliable information on COVID-19 course and prognosis. The collected results point to the need for clarification of the importance of mineral supplementation in COVID-19 and the relationships of the levels of some minerals with clinical improvement. Full article
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