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Keywords:

  • brain injury;
  • metals;
  • neuronal growth-inhibitory factor (GIF);
  • neurodegenerative disease;
  • oxidative stress

Neuronal growth-inhibitory factor, later renamed metallothionein-3, is one of four members of the mammalian metallothionein family. Metallothioneins are a family of ubiquitous, low-molecular-weight, cysteine-rich proteins. Although neuronal growth-inhibitory factor shares metal-binding and reactive oxygen species scavenging properties with the other metallothioneins, it displays several distinct biological properties. In this review, we examine the recent developments regarding the function of neuronal growth-inhibitory factor within the brain, particularly in response to brain injury or during neurodegenerative disease progression.