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Review
, 611, 43-50

Zinc Transporters and Signaling in Physiology and Pathogenesis

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Review

Zinc Transporters and Signaling in Physiology and Pathogenesis

Shintaro Hojyo et al. Arch Biochem Biophys.

Abstract

Zinc (Zn) is an essential trace element that is vital in a wide range of cellular machineries because of its effect on the expression and activity of various transcription factors and enzymes. Zn deficiency disturbs Zn homeostasis and has pathogenic consequences, including growth retardation and immune impairment in mammals. Zn homeostasis is tightly controlled by the coordinated activity of Zn transporters and metallothioneins, which regulate the distribution, storage, and intracellular and extracellular concentration of Zn. Recent reverse-genetic approaches using Zn transporter-deficient mice have revealed the physiological functions of specific Zn signaling axes (each formed by Zn and a Zn transporter) in various biological programs. In this review, we describe recent discoveries about the role of Zn transporters which facilitate cellular signaling through Zn uptake in physiology and pathogenesis, with particular focus on the influence of Zn signaling in systemic growth and immunity.

Keywords: Bone; Connective tissue; Growth; Immunity; Signaling; Zinc transporter.

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