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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Dietary Prevention of Obesity-related Disease Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #90227


item Hunt, Curtiss

Submitted to: Biological Trace Element Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Boron is an element somewhat similar to carbon in weight and reaction with other elements as it is present everywhere in our environment. It is well established that plants require boron to survive and reproduce. In addition certain antibiotics are known to require a single atom of boron in each molecule for an antibiotic to have function. This review suggests that the unusual nature of boron chemistry allows it to play special roles in humans and animals. Boron does not move through the body by itself. Rather, it is always attached to oxygen. Although this characteristic limits the ability of boron to join other molecules, it probably means that boron can react with a select set of enzymes that are also regulators of important processes in the body. We now know that boron changes the release in insulin from the pancreas and that it increases the number of antibodies in the blood after germs have been introduced. It is predicted that boron will be found to help regulate blood clotting and the normal process of inflammation to prevent inflammatory disease. The information in this paper will be used by scientists to develop studies on the role of boron in the presentation at arthritic discusses.

Technical Abstract: It is well established that vascular plants, diatoms, and some species of marine algal flagellates have acquired an absolute requirement for boron although its primary role remains unknown. Discovery of naturally-occuring boron oxy compounds, all ionophoric macrodiolide antibiotics with a single boron atom critical for activity, established at least one biochemical role of boron. The unusual nature of boron chemistry suggests the possibility of a rich and varied number of biological roles for boron. At physiological concentrations and pH, boron may react with one nitrogen group or one to four hydroxyl groups on specific biological ligands with suitable configuration and charge to form dissociable organoboron compounds or complexes. Suitable ligands include pyridine [e.g., NAD**+ or NADP] or flavin [e.g., FAD] nucleotides and serine proteases (SP). Boron reacts with the cis adjacent hydroxyls on the ribosyl moiety of the nucleotides or, in the serine proteases, the nitrogen on the imidazole group of histidine or the hydroxyl group on the serine moiety. Reversible inhibition by boron of activity of SP or oxidoreductases that require pyridine or flavin nucleotides is well known. Therefore, a proposed essential role for boron is as a regulator of relevant pathway, including respiratory burst, that utilize these enzymes.