The PEM enzymes degrade a zinc-carbon-dependent protein called Fyn, which serves as a brake on copper homeostasis. Fyn is a type of protein that can carry nutrients around inside the cell, but it also signals to neurons that its time to release zinc, which makes them more excitable and leads to better memories. In a similar way, pEM break down pem phosphatase, an enzyme that catalyzes the metabolic process of copper.

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