Role of Copper in Defending Against Bacterial Infection
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Copper is an essential nutrient. It plays an important role in development, pigmentation, neurological function, and immune defense. Copper deficiency is known to make host's more susceptible to infection. In this work we show that two copper proteins, ATP7A and ceruloplasmin, are important for host defense against bacterial infection. Studies have shown ATP7A is responsible for increasing copper concentrations inside the phagosome. Our study sheds light on the role of Atp7a and copper in adaptive immunity, and provide a biochemical model for understanding the relationship between copper malnutrition and susceptibility to infection. Iron, another essential nutrient, is linked with copper through the actions of copper-dependent proteins which play a role in maintaining normal iron levels in the blood. One of these proteins is ceruloplasmin, a protein that is also upregulated during infection. Our study sheds light onto why this protein is necessary for host defense against Salmonella infection.