Author(s): Cousins RJ, Blanchard RK, Moore JB, Cui L, Green CL,
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Abstract Differential mRNA display and cDNA array analysis have identified zinc-regulated genes in small intestine, thymus and monocytes. The vast majority of the transcriptome is not influenced by dietary zinc intake, high or low. Of the genes that are zinc regulated, most are involved in signal transduction (particularly influencing the immune response), responses to stress and redox, growth and energy utilization. Among the genes identified are uroguanylin (UG), cholecystokinin, lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase (LCK), T-cell cytokine receptor, heat shock proteins and the DNA damage repair and recombination protein-23B. Zinc transporters (ZnT) help regulate the supply of this micronutrient to maintain cellular functions. Expression of ZnT-1 and -2 is regulated by dietary zinc in many organs including small intestine and kidney. ZnT-4 is ubiquitously expressed but is refractory to zinc intake. Expression of ZnT-1, -2 and -4 changes markedly during gestation and lactation from highly abundant to undetectable. Each ZnT has an endosomal-like appearance in the tissues examined. Upregulation of ZnT-1 and ZnT-2 by dietary zinc strongly implicates these transporters in zinc acquisition and/or storage for subsequent systemic needs. THP-1 cells were used as a model to examine the response of human cells to changes in zinc status. Based on mRNA quantities, Zip1 and ZnT-5 were the most highly expressed. Zinc depletion of these cells decreased expression of all transporters except Zip2, where expression increased markedly. Collectively, these findings provide a genomic footprint upon which to address the biological and clinical significance of zinc and new avenues for status assessment.
This article was published in J Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Membrane Science & Technology