Marco T. Nuñez

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Dopaminergic cell death in the substantia nigra (SN) is central to Parkinson's disease (PD), but the neurodegenerative mechanisms have not been completely elucidated. Iron accumulation in dopaminergic and glial cells in the SN of PD patients may contribute to the generation of oxidative stress, protein aggregation, and neuronal death. The mechanisms(More)
Despite important advances in the understanding of copper secretion and excretion, the molecular components of intestinal copper absorption remain a mystery. DMT1, also known as Nramp2 and DCT1, is the transporter responsible for intestinal iron uptake. Electrophysiological evidence suggests that DMT1 can also be a copper transporter. Thus we examined the(More)
Iron and copper are essential nutrients, excesses or deficiencies of which cause impaired cellular functions and eventually cell death. The metabolic fates of copper and iron are intimately related. Systemic copper deficiency generates cellular iron deficiency, which in humans results in diminished work capacity, reduced intellectual capacity, diminished(More)
A growing set of observations points to mitochondrial dysfunction, iron accumulation, oxidative damage and chronic inflammation as common pathognomonic signs of a number of neurodegenerative diseases that includes Alzheimer's disease, Huntington disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Friedrich's ataxia and Parkinson's disease. Particularly relevant for(More)
Iron is essential for crucial neuronal functions but is also highly toxic in excess. Neurons acquire iron through transferrin receptor-mediated endocytosis and via the divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1). The N-terminus (1A, 1B) and C-terminus (+IRE, −IRE) splice variants of DMT1 originate four protein isoforms, all of which supply iron to cells. Diverse(More)
Iron is necessary for neuronal function but in excess generates neurodegeneration. Although most of the components of the iron homeostasis machinery have been described in neurons, little is known about the particulars of their iron homeostasis. In this work we characterized the response of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells and hippocampal neurons to a model of(More)
Interactions of micronutrients can affect absorption and bioavailability of other nutrients by a number of mechanisms. In aqueous solutions, and at higher uptake levels, competition between elements with similar chemical characteristics and uptake process can take place. The consequences of these interactions may depend on the relative concentrations of the(More)
Insertional mutations in exon 4 of the ferritin light chain (FTL) gene are associated with hereditary ferritinopathy (HF) or neuroferritinopathy, an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive impairment of motor and cognitive functions. To determine the pathogenic mechanisms by which mutations in FTL lead to neurodegeneration,(More)
Ferritin iron from food is readily bioavailable to humans and has the potential for treating iron deficiency. Whether ferritin iron absorption is mechanistically different from iron absorption from small iron complexes/salts remains controversial. Here, we studied iron absorption (RBC (59)Fe) from radiolabeled ferritin iron (0.5 mg) in healthy women with or(More)
Oxidative stress has been demonstrated to produce modifications in several intracellular proteins that lead to alterations in their activities. Alzheimer's disease is related to an increase of oxidative stress markers, which may be an early event in the progression of the disease and neurofibrillary tangles formation. Abnormal phosphorylation of tau has(More)