Biological Trace Element Research. The copper-binding protein ceruloplasmin oxidizes ferrous iron to ferric iron, an action that is critical for the binding of iron to transferrin in plasma. Ceruloplasmin, in common with ferritin and transferrin, is an acute-phase protein that is altered by inflammation. We sought to identify interrelationships between the copper and iron systems by measuring copper, ceruloplasmin, ferroxidase, ferritin, transferrin, iron, and iron-binding capacity in a group of hemodialysis patients.
We looked for evidence of inflammation and free-radical injury by assaying for protein carbonyl groups, protein pyrrolation, di-tyrosine, and advanced oxidation protein products. Our findings were compatible with an active inflammatory state that affected both iron and copper metabolism.
Transferrin levels were low, whereas ceruloplasmin levels were elevated compared to normal. Copper concentration was increased proportional to ceruloplasmin.
Several variables including ceruloplasmin and transferrin were observed to correlate significantly with the level of pyrrolated protein. The data suggest that posttranslational modification of circulating proteins may affect their structural, enzymatic, and ligand-binding properties. Abnormalities in copper metabolism and their influence on iron handling in renal failure are complex and will require additional study before their importance can be defined. Unable to display preview.
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