Iron and copper have a wealth of functions in biological systems, which makes them essential micronutrients for all living organisms. Defects in iron and copper homeostasis are directly responsible for diseases, and have been linked to impaired development, metabolic syndromes and fungal virulence. Consequently, it is crucial to gain a comprehensive understanding of the molecular bases of iron- and copper-dependent proteins in living systems. Simon Labbé maintains parallel programs on iron and copper homeostasis using the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe (Schiz. pombe) as a model system. The study of fission yeast transition-metal metabolism has been successful, not only in discerning the genes and pathways functioning in Schiz. pombe, but also the genes and pathways that are active in mammalian systems and for other fungi
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