The Role of the Slc39a Family of Zinc Transporters in Zinc Homeostasis in Skin

Nutrients. 2018 Feb 16;10(2):219. doi: 10.3390/nu10020219.


The first manifestations that appear under zinc deficiency are skin defects such as dermatitis, alopecia, acne, eczema, dry, and scaling skin. Several genetic disorders including acrodermatitis enteropathica (also known as Danbolt-Closs syndrome) and Brandt's syndrome are highly related to zinc deficiency. However, the zinc-related molecular mechanisms underlying normal skin development and homeostasis, as well as the mechanism by which disturbed zinc homeostasis causes such skin disorders, are unknown. Recent genomic approaches have revealed the physiological importance of zinc transporters in skin formation and clarified their functional impairment in cutaneous pathogenesis. In this review, we provide an overview of the relationships between zinc deficiency and skin disorders, focusing on the roles of zinc transporters in the skin. We also discuss therapeutic outlooks and advantages of controlling zinc levels via zinc transporters to prevent cutaneous disorganization.

Keywords: homeostasis; skin; transporter; zinc.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cation Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Cation Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Deficiency Diseases / genetics
  • Deficiency Diseases / metabolism
  • Deficiency Diseases / pathology
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin Absorption*
  • Skin Diseases / genetics
  • Skin Diseases / metabolism
  • Skin Diseases / pathology
  • Zinc / deficiency
  • Zinc / metabolism*


  • Cation Transport Proteins
  • Zinc