Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) has often been associated with improper/altered metal metabolism. Analysis of thiophylic metals in serum from a small and geographically restricted cohort of ALS patients indicates contents of Pb and Ni much higher in patients than in controls (Ni, 5-fold; Pb, 2-fold). Se levels are also higher in the patients’ group, which has instead lower As levels than controls. Thiophylic metals may impair biogenesis of FeS clusters or substitute for iron, even in folded proteins; Se may non-functionally replace S. Thus, improper assembly/ function of FeS proteins could represent another possible issue to be considered in ALS pathogenesis.
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