This is a Reading guide to the Review article Transition Metal Speciation in the Cell: Insights from the Chemistry of Metal Ion Receptors Lydia A. Finney, et al. Science 300, 931 (2003);
This paper introduces the concept of metallochaperones and speaks to the interesting and unusual geometry that these systems use to accomplish their tasks. I have the students read the article on their own, using the reading guide to make them think about particular points, before an in class discussion of the article. Some of the questions are rote, but several of them ask the student to take the next step in thinking about the author's proposals.
• A student should know the definition of a metallochaperone. • A student should know the metallochaperone systems responsible for the Iron, copper and zinc. • A student should be able to explain both the thermodynamic and kinetic considerations necessary for successful function as a metallochaperone. • A student should be able to explain the advantage of using unusual geometries in metallochaperones. • A student should understand the implications of conserved sequences that bind metals and be able to predict the geometries of such sites.
I deliver the paper in pdf form to the students by email two days before we discuss it in class, along with the reading guide. We discuss their answers in class, as I add extra materials to expand on the points made in the paper. This is the first literature paper that I present in class, since a review article is a soft-start to reading the literature.
The students' answers are collected and graded, but the students are also evaluated on their contribution to the in class discussion of the paper.
The reading guide produced a rich in class discussion about metal transport and storage and the necessity for both chaperones and for metal ion storage.