Function of Ceruloplasmin
Ceruloplasmin (or caeruloplasmin) is a ferroxidase enzyme that in humans is encoded by the CP gene.
Ceruloplasmin is the major copper-carrying protein in the blood, and in addition plays a role in iron metabolism. It was first described in 1948. Another protein, hephaestin, is noted for its homology to ceruloplasmin, and also participates in iron and probably copper metabolism.
It is an enzyme (EC 18.104.22.168) synthesized in the liver containing 6 atoms of copper in its structure. Ceruloplasmin carries about 70% of the total copper in human plasma while albumin carries about 15%. The rest is accounted for by macroglobulins. Albumin may be confused at times to have a greater importance as a copper carrier because it binds copper less tightly than ceruloplasmin. Ceruloplasmin exhibits a copper-dependent oxidase activity, which is associated with possible oxidation of Fe2+ (ferrous iron) into Fe3+ (ferric iron), therefore assisting in its transport in the plasma in association with transferrin, which can carry iron only in the ferric state. The molecular weight of human ceruloplasmin is reported to be 151kDa.