Ion transporters of the Slc30A- (ZnT-) family regulate zinc fluxes into sub-cellular compartments. β-cells depend on zinc for both insulin crystallization and regulation of cell mass.
This study examined: the effect of glucose and zinc chelation on ZnT gene and protein levels and apoptosis in β-cells and pancreatic islets, the effects of ZnT-3 knock-down on insulin secretion in a β-cell line and ZnT-3 knock-out on glucose metabolism in mice during streptozotocin-induced β-cell stress. In INS-1E cells 2 mM glucose down-regulated ZnT-3 and up-regulated ZnT-5 expression relative to 5 mM. 16 mM glucose increased ZnT-3 and decreased ZnT-8 expression. Zinc chelation by DEDTC lowered INS-1E insulin content and insulin expression. Furthermore, zinc depletion increased ZnT-3- and decreased ZnT-8 gene expression whereas the amount of ZnT-3 protein in the cells was decreased. Zinc depletion and high glucose induced apoptosis and necrosis in INS-1E cells. The most responsive zinc transporter, ZnT-3, was investigated further; by immunohistochemistry and western blotting ZnT-3 was demonstrated in INS-1E cells. 44% knock-down of ZnT-3 by siRNA transfection in INS-1E cells decreased insulin expression and secretion. Streptozotocin-treated mice had higher glucose levels after ZnT-3 knock-out, particularly in overt diabetic animals.
Zinc transporting proteins in β-cells respond to variations in glucose and zinc levels. ZnT-3, which is pivotal in the development of cellular changes as also seen in type 2 diabetes (e.g. amyloidosis in Alzheimer's disease) but not previously described in β-cells, is present in this cell type, up-regulated by glucose in a concentration dependent manner and up-regulated by zinc depletion which by contrast decreased ZnT-3 protein levels. Knock-down of the ZnT-3 gene lowers insulin secretion in vitro and affects in vivo glucose metabolism after streptozotocin treatment.
The SLC30A8 gene codes for a pancreatic beta-cell-expressed zinc transporter, ZnT8. A polymorphism in the SLC30A8 gene is associated with susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, although the molecular mechanism through which this phenotype is manifest is incompletely understood. Such polymorphisms may exert their effect via impacting expression level of the gene product. We used an shRNA-mediated approach to reproducibly downregulate ZnT8 mRNA expression by >90% in the INS-1 pancreatic beta cell line. The ZnT8-downregulated cells exhibited diminished uptake of exogenous zinc, as determined using the zinc-sensitive reporter dye, zinquin. ZnT8-downregulated cells showed reduced insulin content and decreased insulin secretion (expressed as percent of total insulin content) in response to hyperglycemic stimulus, as determined by insulin immunoassay. ZnT8-depleted cells also showed fewer dense-core vesicles via electron microscopy. These data indicate that reduced ZnT8 expression in cultured pancreatic beta cells gives rise to a reduced insulin response to hyperglycemia. In addition, although we provide no direct evidence, these data suggest that an SLC30A8 expression-level polymorphism could affect insulin secretion and the glycemic response in vivo.
The Slc30a8 gene encodes the islet-specific zinc transporter ZnT-8, which provides zinc for insulin-hexamer formation. Polymorphic variants in amino acid 325 of human ZnT-8 are associated with altered susceptibility to type 2 diabetes and ZnT-8 autoantibody epitope specificity changes in type 1 diabetes. To assess the physiological importance of ZnT-8, mice carrying a Slc30a8 exon 3 deletion were analyzed histologically and phenotyped for energy metabolism and pancreatic hormone secretion. No gross anatomical or behavioral changes or differences in body weight were observed between wild type and ZnT-8 −/− mice and ZnT-8 −/− mouse islets were indistinguishable from wild type in terms of their numbers, size and cellular composition. However, total zinc content was markedly reduced in ZnT-8 −/− mouse islets, as evaluated both by Timm’s histochemical staining of pancreatic sections and direct measurements in isolated islets. Blood glucose levels were unchanged in 16 week old, 6 hr fasted animals of either gender, however, plasma insulin concentrations were reduced in both female (~31%) and male (~47%) ZnT-8 −/− mice. Intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests demonstrated no impairment in glucose clearance in male ZnT-8 −/− mice but glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from isolated islets was reduced ~33% relative to wild type littermates. In summary, Slc30a8 gene deletion is accompanied by a modest impairment in insulin secretion without major alterations in glucose metabolism.
Autoantigen; Glucose; Zinc Transporter; Insulin; Islet; Mouse
Intracellular zinc concentration and localization are strictly regulated by two main protein components, metallothioneins and membrane transporters. In mammalian cells, two membrane transporters family are involved in intracellular zinc homeostasis: the uptake transporters called SLC39 or Zip family and the efflux transporters called SLC30 or ZnT family. ZnT proteins are members of the cation diffusion facilitator (CDF) family of metal ion transporters.
From genomic databanks analysis, we identified the full-length sequences of two novel SLC30 genes, SLC30A8 and SLC30A10, extending the SLC30 family to ten members. We used an expressed sequence tag (EST) data mining strategy to determine the pattern of ZnT genes expression in tissues. In silico results obtained for already studied ZnT sequences were compared to experimental data, previously published. We determined an overall good correlation with expression pattern obtained by RT-PCR or immunomethods, particularly for highly tissue specific genes.
The method presented herein provides a useful tool to complete gene families from sequencing programs and to produce preliminary expression data to select the proper biological samples for laboratory experimentation.
Genetic studies suggest that Zn transporters such as ZnT8 play a role in insulin secretion by pancreatic β-cells; however, little is known about the dynamic roles of Zn trafficking pathways on β-cell physiology. To test the acute effects of the inflammatory cytokines interleukin 1β (IL1β) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) on Zn homeostasis, the mRNA expression profile of Zn transporters of the ZnT and ZIP families was examined. Exposure of MIN6 cells or primary murine islets to IL1β or TNFα altered the mRNA expression profile of Zn transporters; most notable was decreased ZnT8 mRNA levels. siRNA-mediated gene knockdown was used to examine the effects of decreased ZnT8 expression in primary dispersed murine islet cells from C57/BL6 mice and MIN6 cells. ZnT8 knockdown in these murine islets led to reduced glucose stimulated insulin secretion without altering the total cellular insulin content or cell viability at normal or supraphysiological Zn concentrations. The labile Zn content determined by flow cytometry after loading with the Zn-specific sensor FluoZin-3 AM was decreased in MIN6 cells following ZnT8 knockdown or IL1β treatment. These results suggest that an acute decrease in ZnT8 levels impairs β-cell function and Zn homeostasis, and may contribute to inflammatory cytokine-induced alterations in β-cell function.
We have demonstrated that zinc exposure induces apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells (PC-3) and benign hyperplasia cells (BPH), but not in normal prostate cells (HPR-1). However, the mechanisms underlying the effects of zinc on prostate cancer cell growth and zinc homeostasis remain unclear.
To explore the zinc effect on gene expression profiles in normal (HPR-1) and malignant prostate cells (PC-3), we conducted a time course study of Zn treatment with microarray analysis. Microarray data were evaluated and profiled using computational approach for the primary and secondary data analyses. Final analyses were focused on the genes: 1. highly sensitive to zinc, 2. associated with zinc homeostasis, i.e. metallothioneins (MTs), solute zinc carriers (ZIPs) and zinc exporters (ZnTs), 3. relevant to several oncogenic pathways. Zinc-mediated mRNA levels of MT isotypes were further validated by semi-quantitative RT-PCR.
Results showed that zinc effect on genome-wide expression patterns was cell type specific, and zinc appeared to have mainly down-regulatory effects on thousands of genes (1,953 in HPR-1; 3,534 in PC-3) with a threshold of ±2.5-fold, while fewer genes were up-regulated (872 in HPR-1; 571 in PC-3). The patterns of zinc effect on functional MT genes’ expression provided evidence for the cell-type dependent zinc accumulation and zinc-induced apoptosis in prostate cells. In PC-3 cells, zinc significantly up-regulated the expression of MT-1 isotypes -J and -M, denoted previously as “non-functional” MT genes, and now a depictive molecular structure of MT-1J was proposed. Examination of genes involved in oncogenic pathways indicated that certain genes, e.g. Fos, Akt1, Jak3 and PI3K were highly regulated by zinc with cell type specificity.
This work provided an extensive database on zinc related prostate cancer research. The strategy of data analysis was devoted to find genes highly sensitive to Zn, and the genes associated with zinc accumulation and zinc-induced apoptosis. The results indicate that zinc regulation of gene expression is cell-type specific, and MT genes play important roles in prostate malignancy.
microarray; zinc; prostate malignant cells; gene isoform; metallothionein; zinc transporter
Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have shown that a polymorphic variant in SLC30A8, which encodes zinc transporter-8 (ZnT-8), is associated with altered susceptibility to type 2 diabetes (T2D). This association is consistent with the observation that glucose-stimulated insulin secretion is decreased in islets isolated from Slc30a8 knockout mice. In the present study immunohistochemical staining was first used to show that SLC30A8 is expressed specifically in pancreatic islets. Fusion gene studies were then used to examine the molecular basis for the islet-specific expression of SLC30A8. The analysis of SLC30A8-luciferase expression in βTC-3 cells revealed that the proximal promoter region, located between −6154 and −1, relative to the translation start site, was only active in stable but not transient transfections. VISTA analyses identified three regions in the SLC30A8 promoter and a region in SLC30A8 intron 2 that are conserved in the mouse Slc30a8 gene. Additional fusion gene experiments demonstrated that none of these Slc30a8 promoter regions exhibited enhancer activity when ligated to a heterologous promoter whereas the conserved region in SLC30A8 intron 2 conferred elevated reporter gene expression selectively in βTC-3 but not αTC-6 cells. Finally, the functional effects of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs62510556, in this conserved intron 2 enhancer were investigated. Gel retardation studies showed that rs62510556 affects the binding of an unknown transcription factor and fusion gene analyses showed that it modulates enhancer activity. However genetic analyses suggest that this SNP is not a causal variant that contributes to the association between SLC30A8 and T2D, at least in Europeans.
pancreas; transcription; promoter; diabetes; zinc
Zinc (Zn) is an essential nutrient and its deficiency causes immunodeficiency. However, it remains unknown how Zn homeostasis is regulated in mast cells and if Zn transporters are involved in allergic reactions. We show that Znt5/Slc30a5 is required for contact hypersensitivity and mast cell–mediated delayed-type allergic response but not for immediate passive cutaneous anaphylaxis. In mast cells from Znt5−/− mice, Fcϵ receptor I (FcϵRI)–induced cytokine production was diminished, but degranulation was intact. Znt5 was involved in FcϵRI-induced translocation of protein kinase C (PKC) to the plasma membrane and the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor κB. In addition, the Zn finger–like motif of PKC was required for its plasma membrane translocation and binding to diacylglycerol. Thus, Znt5 is selectively required for the mast cell–mediated delayed-type allergic response, and it is a novel player in mast cell activation.
Senescence, a hallmark of mammalian aging, is associated with the onset and progression of cardiovascular disease. Angiotensin II (Ang II) signaling and zinc homeostasis dysfunction are increased with age and are linked to cardiovascular disease, but the relationship among these processes has not been investigated. We used a model of cellular senescence induced by Ang II in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) to explore the role of zinc in vascular dysfunction. We found that Ang II-induced senescence is a zinc-dependent pathway mediated by the downregulation of the zinc transporters ZnT3 and ZnT10, which work to reduce cytosolic zinc. Zinc mimics Ang II by increasing reactive oxygen species (ROS), activating NADPH oxidase activity and Akt, and by downregulating ZnT3 and ZnT10 and inducing senescence. Zinc increases Ang II-induced senescence, while the zinc chelator TPEN, as well as overexpression of ZnT3 or ZnT10, decreases ROS and prevents senescence. Using HEK293 cells, we found that ZnT10 localizes in recycling endosomes and transports zinc into vesicles to prevent zinc toxicity. Zinc and ZnT3/ZnT10 downregulation induces senescence by decreasing the expression of catalase. Consistently, ZnT3 and ZnT10 downregulation by siRNA increases ROS while downregulation of catalase by siRNA induces senescence. Zinc, siZnT3 and siZnT10 downregulate catalase by a post-transcriptional mechanism mediated by decreased phosphorylation of ERK1/2. These data demonstrate that zinc homeostasis dysfunction by decreased expression of ZnT3 or ZnT10 promotes senescence and that Ang II-induced senescence is a zinc and ROS-dependent process. Our studies suggest that zinc might also affect other ROS-dependent processes induced by Ang II, such as hypertrophy and migration of smooth muscle cells.
ZnT2 (zinc transporter-2) expression is restricted to tissues with unique zinc requirements such as mammary and prostate glands. We previously determined that ZnT2 plays a major role in zinc export from mammary glands, as women with a mutation in the gene encoding ZnT2 (SLC30A2) had an ~75% reduction in milk zinc concentration. Two distinct human ZnT2 isoforms (~42 and 35 kDa) are predicted to result from alternative splicing of SLC30A2. We examined the localization and function of each ZnT2 isoform, in cells generated to express ZnT2–HA (haemagglutinin) fusion proteins. The 42 kDa isoform was localized primarily to the endosomal/secretory compartment and overexpression resulted in increased zinc vesicularization. In contrast, the 35 kDa isoform is associated with the plasma membrane. Importantly, zinc transport was higher in cells over-expressing each isoform, indicating that both proteins are functional. Endogenous expression of the secretory vesicle-associated ZnT2 isoform predominates in mammary cells and expression is higher in secreting cells, whereas the smaller isoform plays a minor role in zinc export, directly reflecting the secretory function of the mammary gland. Together our data shed further light on the complex integration of cellular zinc transport mechanisms, which may be facilitated by multiple isoforms of specific zinc transporters with unique cellular functions.
exocytotic vesicles; lactation; mammary gland; plasma membrane; zinc transporters; ZnT2 variants
Zinc is emerging as an important intracellular signaling molecule, as well as fulfilling essential structural and catalytic functions through incorporation in a myriad of zinc metalloproteins so it is important to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of zinc homeostasis, including the subcellular localizations of zinc transporters.
Two splice variants of the human SLC30A5 Zn transporter gene (ZnT5) have been reported in the literature. These variants differ at their N- and C-terminal regions, corresponding with the use of different 5′ and 3′ exons. We demonstrate that full length human ZnT5 variant B is a genuine transcript in human intestinal cells and confirm expression of both variant A and variant B in a range of untreated human tissues by splice variant-specific RT-PCR. Using N- or C-terminal GFP or FLAG fusions of both isoforms of ZnT5 we identify that the differential subcellular localization to the Golgi apparatus and ER respectively is a function of their alternative C-terminal sequences. These different C-terminal regions result from the incorporation into the mature transcript of either the whole of exon 14 (variant B) or only the 5′ region of exon 14 plus exons 15–17 (variant A).
We thus propose that exons 15 to 17 include a signal that results in trafficking of ZnT5 to the Golgi apparatus and that the 3′ end of exon 14 includes a signal that leads to retention in the ER.
Cadmium and zinc are removed from cells of Ralstonia metallidurans by the CzcCBA efflux pump and by two soft-metal-transporting P-type ATPases, CadA and ZntA. The czcCBA genes are located on plasmid pMOL30, and the cadA and zntA genes are on the bacterial chromosome. Expression of zntA from R. metallidurans in Escherichia coli predominantly mediated resistance to zinc, and expression of cadA predominantly mediated resistance to cadmium. Both transporters decreased the cellular content of zinc or cadmium in this host. In the plasmid-free R. metallidurans strain AE104, single gene deletions of cadA or zntA had only a moderate effect on cadmium and zinc resistance, but zinc resistance decreased 6-fold and cadmium resistance decreased 350-fold in double deletion strains. Neither single nor double gene deletions affected zinc resistance in the presence of czcCBA. In contrast, cadmium resistance of the cadA zntA double mutant could be elevated only partially by the presence of CzcCBA. lacZ reporter gene fusions indicated that expression of cadA was induced by cadmium but not by zinc in R. metallidurans strain AE104. In the absence of the zntA gene, expression of cadA occurred at lower cadmium concentrations and zinc now served as an inducer. In contrast, expression of zntA was induced by both zinc and cadmium, and the induction pattern did not change in the presence or absence of CadA. However, expression of both genes, zntA and cadA, was diminished in the presence of CzcCBA. This indicated that CzcCBA efficiently decreased cytoplasmic cadmium and zinc concentrations. It is discussed whether these data favor a model in which the cations are removed either from the cytoplasm or the periplasm by CzcCBA.
Non-covalent and covalent homo-oligomerization of membrane proteins regulates their subcellular localization and function. Here, we described a novel oligomerization mechanism affecting solute carrier family 30 member 3/zinc transporter 3 (SLC30A3/ZnT3). Oligomerization was mediated by intermolecular covalent dityrosine bonds. Using mutagenized ZnT3 expressed in PC12 cells, we identified two critical tyrosine residues necessary for dityrosine-mediated ZnT3 oligomerization. ZnT3 carrying the Y372F mutation prevented ZnT3 oligomerization, decreased ZnT3 targeting to synaptic-like microvesicles (SLMVs), and decreased resistance to zinc toxicity. Strikingly, ZnT3 harboring the Y357F mutation behaved as a “gain-of-function” mutant as it displayed increased ZnT3 oligomerization, targeting to SLMVs, and increased resistance to zinc toxicity. Single and double tyrosine ZnT3 mutants indicate that the predominant dimeric species is formed between tyrosine 357 and 372. ZnT3 tyrosine dimerization was detected under normal conditions and it was enhanced by oxidative stress. Covalent species were also detected in other SLC30A zinc transporters localized in different subcellular compartments. These results indicate that covalent tyrosine dimerization of a SLC30A family member modulates its subcellular localization and zinc transport capacity. We propose that dityrosine-dependent membrane protein oligomerization may regulate the function of diverse membrane protein in normal and disease states.
Zinc ions are essential for the formation of hexameric insulin and hormone crystallization. A nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphism rs13266634 in the SLC30A8 gene, encoding the secretory granule zinc transporter ZnT8, is associated with type 2 diabetes. We describe the effects of deleting the ZnT8 gene in mice and explore the action of the at-risk allele.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Slc30a8 null mice were generated and backcrossed at least twice onto a C57BL/6J background. Glucose and insulin tolerance were measured by intraperitoneal injection or euglycemic clamp, respectively. Insulin secretion, electrophysiology, imaging, and the generation of adenoviruses encoding the low- (W325) or elevated- (R325) risk ZnT8 alleles were undertaken using standard protocols.
ZnT8−/− mice displayed age-, sex-, and diet-dependent abnormalities in glucose tolerance, insulin secretion, and body weight. Islets isolated from null mice had reduced granule zinc content and showed age-dependent changes in granule morphology, with markedly fewer dense cores but more rod-like crystals. Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, granule fusion, and insulin crystal dissolution, assessed by total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, were unchanged or enhanced in ZnT8−/− islets. Insulin processing was normal. Molecular modeling revealed that residue-325 was located at the interface between ZnT8 monomers. Correspondingly, the R325 variant displayed lower apparent Zn2+ transport activity than W325 ZnT8 by fluorescence-based assay.
ZnT8 is required for normal insulin crystallization and insulin release in vivo but not, remarkably, in vitro. Defects in the former processes in carriers of the R allele may increase type 2 diabetes risks.
Zinc is important. It is the second most abundant trace metal with 2-4 grams in humans. It is an essential trace element, critical for cell growth, development and differentiation, DNA synthesis, RNA transcription, cell division, and cell activation. Zinc deficiency has adverse consequences during embryogenesis and early childhood development, particularly on immune functioning. It is essential in members of all enzyme classes, including over 300 signaling molecules and transcription factors. Free zinc in immune and tumor cells is regulated by 14 distinct zinc importers (ZIP) and transporters (ZNT1-8). Zinc depletion induces cell death via apoptosis (or necrosis if apoptotic pathways are blocked) while sufficient zinc levels allows maintenance of autophagy. Cancer cells have upregulated zinc importers, and frequently increased zinc levels, which allow them to survive. Based on this novel synthesis, approaches which locally regulate zinc levels to promote survival of immune cells and/or induce tumor apoptosis are in order.
The lethal milk mouse syndrome is caused by a point mutation in the zinc transporter gene ZnT4 resulting in defective zinc secretion in the milk of homozygous mutant dams. Pups of any genotype fed solely on lm milk die within the first two weeks of neonatal life, displaying zinc deficiency symptoms. Homozygous mutant pups survive when foster nursed by wild type dams and show signs of mild zinc deficiency in adulthood. To further investigate the role of ZnT4 in zinc secretion in the intestinal epithelium, we have studied the expression by real time quantitative PCR of mutant ZnT4 and of other zinc transporters of the Zip and ZnT families, in the jejunum of homozygous lm mice and of the isogenic wild type strain C57BL/ 6J. We report in this paper that expression of the mutant ZnT4 mRNA, carrying a premature translational termination codon (ZnT4/lm), is almost absent in tissues from lm mice, probably as a result of degradation by the Nonsense Mediated mRNA Decay (NMD) Pathway. In the jejunum of mutant mice, we also observed decreased expression of the uptake zinc transporter Zip4, paralleled by increased levels of both metallothionein genes MTI and MTII. Zinc supplementation of lm mice in the drinking water did not result in further decrease of Zip4 expression, but led to full induction of MT mRNAs. These results lead us to conclude that, although in the enterocytes of lm mice the absence of the zinc secretion activity mediated by ZnT4 results in increased intracellular zinc concentration, other zinc efflux activities are able to maintain the level of zinc ions below the threshold necessary for full induction of metallothioneins.
Copper; Copper transporter; lm syndrome; Metallothionein; zinc deficiency; ZnT4; Zinc Transporter
A blood-brain barrier (BBB) model composed of porcine brain capillary endothelial cells (BCEC) was exposed to a moderately excessive zinc environment (50 µmol Zn/L) in cell culture and longitudinal measurements were made of zinc transport kinetics, ZnT-1 (SLC30A1) expression, and changes in the protein concentration of metallothionein (MT), ZnT-1, ZnT-2 (SLC30A2), and Zip1 (SLC39A1). Zinc release by cells of the BBB model was significantly increased after 12–24 h of exposure, but decreased back to control levels after 48–96 h, as indicated by transport across the BBB from both the ablumenal (brain) and lumenal (blood) directions. Expression of ZnT-1, the zinc export protein, increased 169% within 12 h, but was no longer different from controls after 24 h. Likewise, ZnT-1 protein content increased transiently after 12 h of exposure but returned to control levels by 24 h. Capacity for zinc uptake and retention increased from both the lumenal and ablumenal directions within 12–24 h of exposure and remained elevated. MT and ZnT-2 were elevated within 12 h and remained elevated throughout the study. Zip1 was unchanged by the treatment. The BBB’s response to a moderately high zinc environment was dynamic and involved multiple mechanisms. The initial response was to increase the cell’s capacity to sequester zinc with additional MT and increase zinc export with the ZnT-1 protein. But, the longer term strategy involved increasing ZnT-2 transporters, presumably to sequester zinc into intracellular vesicles as a mechanism to protect the brain and maintain brain zinc homeostasis.
zinc homeostasis; zinc toxicity; blood-brain barrier; zinc transporters; metallothionein
Zinc is a micronutrient important in several biological processes including growth and development. We have limited knowledge on the impact of maternal zinc deficiency on zinc and zinc regulatory mechanisms in the developing embryo due to a lack of in vivo experimental models that allow us to directly study the effects of maternal zinc on embryonic development following implantation. To overcome this barrier, we have proposed to use zebrafish as a model organism to study the impact of zinc during development. The goal of the current study was to profile the mRNA expression of all the known zinc transporter genes in the zebrafish across embryonic and larval development and to quantify the embryonic zinc concentrations at these corresponding developmental time points. The SLC30A zinc transporter family (ZnT) and SCL39A family, Zir-,Irt-like protein (ZIP) zinc transporter proteins were profiled in zebrafish embryos at 0, 2, 6, 12, 24, 48 and 120 hours post fertilization to capture expression patterns from a single cell through full development. We observed consistent embryonic zinc levels, but differential expression of several zinc transporters across development. These results suggest that zebrafish is an effective model organism to study the effects of zinc deficiency and further investigation is underway to identify possible molecular pathways that are dysregulated with maternal zinc deficiency.
Dietary zinc deficiency in mice is accompanied by enhanced expression of the zinc uptake transporter Slc39a4 (Zip4) and repressed expression of Slc39a5 (Zip5) in tissues which regulate zinc homeostasis (intestine, pancreas and visceral yolk sac). Herein, mechanisms controlling this differential expression were investigated. The induction of Zip4 mRNA during zinc deficiency, and its repression in response to zinc repletion were found to reflect changes in Zip4 mRNA stability and not changes in the relative rate of transcription of this gene. During zinc deficiency, ZIP4 protein levels are increased and this protein is localized on the apical membranes. Administration of an oral gavage of zinc caused ZIP4 internalization and degradation in enterocytes and visceral endoderm cells. Similarly, ZIP4 is induced by zinc deficiency in cultured mouse Hepa cells and is rapidly degraded in response to added zinc. Zip5 mRNA abundance does not change in response to zinc, but the translation of this mRNA was found to be zinc-responsive. During zinc deficiency, Zip5 mRNA remains associated with polysomes, while the protein is internalized and degraded in enterocytes, acinar cells and endoderm cells. After zinc-gavage, ZIP5 is rapidly resynthesized and targeted to the basolateral membranes of these cell types.
mRNA stability; post-transcriptional; protein stability; Slc39a4; Slc39a5; ZIP
Proteases play a crucial role in remodeling the bacterial proteome in response to changes in cellular environment. Escherichia coli ZntR, a zinc-responsive transcriptional regulator, was identified by proteomic experiments as a likely ClpXP substrate, suggesting that protein turnover may play a role in regulation of zinc homeostasis. When intracellular zinc levels are high, ZntR activates expression of ZntA, an ATPase essential for zinc export. We find that ZntR is degraded in vivo in a manner dependent on both the ClpXP and Lon proteases. However, ZntR degradation decreases in the presence of high zinc concentrations, the level of ZntR rises, and transcription of the zntA exporter is increased. Mutagenesis experiments reveal that zinc binding does not appear to be solely responsible for the zinc-induced protection from proteolysis. Therefore, we tested whether DNA binding was important in the zinc-induced stabilization of ZntR by mutagenesis of the DNA binding helices. Replacement of a conserved arginine (R19A) in the DNA binding domain both enhances ZntR degradation and abolishes zinc-induced transcriptional activation of zntA. Biochemical and physical analysis of ZntRR19A demonstrates that it is structurally similar to, and binds zinc as well as does, the wild-type protein but is severely defective in binding DNA. Thus, we conclude that two different ligands—zinc and DNA—function together to increase ZntR stability and that ligand-controlled proteolysis of ZntR plays an important role in fine-tuning zinc homeostasis in bacteria.
Zinc transporter 8 (ZnT8) is an islet β-cell secretory granule membrane protein recently identified as an autoantibody antigen in type 1 diabetes. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and role of antibodies to ZnT8 (ZnT8As) in adult-onset diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
ZnT8As were measured by a radioimmunoprecipitation assay using recombinant ZnT8 COOH-terminal or NH2-terminal proteins in 193 patients with adult-onset autoimmune diabetes having antibodies to either GAD (GADAs) or IA-2 (IA-2As) and in 1,056 antibody-negative patients with type 2 diabetes from the Non Insulin Requiring Autoimmune Diabetes (NIRAD) study.
ZnT8As-COOH were detected in 18.6% patients with autoimmune diabetes and 1.4% with type 2 diabetes. ZnT8As-NH2 were rare. ZnT8As were associated with younger age and a high GADA titer. The use of GADAs, IA-2As, and ZnT8As in combination allowed a stratification of clinical phenotype, with younger age of onset of diabetes and characteristics of more severe insulin deficiency (higher fasting glucose and A1C, lower BMI, total cholesterol, and triglycerides) in patients with all three markers, with progressive attenuation in patients with two, one, and no antibodies (all Ptrend < 0.001). Autoantibody titers, association with high-risk HLA genotypes, and prevalence of thyroid peroxidase antibodies followed the same trend (all P < 0.001).
ZnT8As are detectable in a proportion of patients with adult-onset autoimmune diabetes and seem to be a valuable marker to differentiate clinical phenotypes.
Transcriptional response of Escherichia coli to extracellular zinc was studied using DNA microarray and S1 mapping assays. Addition of external zinc induced the expression of zinc exporter ZntA and inhibited the expression of zinc importer ZnuC. In the continuous presence of zinc, ZnuC repression took place at lower zinc concentrations than ZntA induction. The microarray assay indicated that the addition of excess external zinc induces the expression of many genes that are organized in the regulon for cysteine biosynthesis, implying that cysteine plays a role in transient trapping of free zinc for maintenance of zinc homeostasis. Besides the RpoE regulon, other genes were also induced by zinc, suggesting that periplasmic proteins denatured by zinc induce the genes for protein repair. The microarray data of the newly identified zinc-responsive promoters were confirmed by S1 mapping.
In atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus, the concomitant presence of low-grade systemic inflammation and mild zinc deficiency highlights a role for zinc nutrition in the management of chronic disease. This review aims to evaluate the literature that reports on the interactions of zinc and cytokines. In humans, inflammatory cytokines have been shown both to up- and down-regulate the expression of specific cellular zinc transporters in response to an increased demand for zinc in inflammatory conditions. The acute phase response includes a rapid decline in the plasma zinc concentration as a result of the redistribution of zinc into cellular compartments. Zinc deficiency influences the generation of cytokines, including IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, and TNF-α, and in response to zinc supplementation plasma cytokines exhibit a dose-dependent response. The mechanism of action may reflect the ability of zinc to either induce or inhibit the activation of NF-κB. Confounders in understanding the zinc-cytokine relationship on the basis of in vitro experimentation include methodological issues such as the cell type and the means of activating cells in culture. Impaired zinc homeostasis and chronic inflammation feature prominently in a number of cardiometabolic diseases. Given the high prevalence of zinc deficiency and chronic disease globally, the interplay of zinc and inflammation warrants further examination.
zinc; inflammation; cytokines; atherosclerosis; diabetes mellitus
The SLC30A8 gene encodes the islet-specific transporter ZnT-8, which is hypothesized to provide zinc for insulin-crystal formation. A polymorphic variant in SLC30A8 is associated with altered susceptibility to type 2 diabetes. Several groups have examined the effect of global Slc30a8 gene deletion but the results have been highly variable, perhaps due to the mixed 129SvEv/C57BL/6J genetic background of the mice studied. We therefore sought to remove the conflicting effect of 129SvEv-specific modifier genes.
The impact of Slc30a8 deletion was examined in the context of the pure C57BL/6J genetic background.
Male C57BL/6J Slc30a8 knockout (KO) mice had normal fasting insulin levels and no change in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) from isolated islets in marked contrast to the ∼50% and ∼35% decrease, respectively, in both parameters observed in male mixed genetic background Slc30a8 KO mice. This observation suggests that 129SvEv-specific modifier genes modulate the impact of Slc30a8 deletion. In contrast, female C57BL/6J Slc30a8 KO mice had reduced (∼20%) fasting insulin levels, though this was not associated with a change in fasting blood glucose (FBG), or GSIS from isolated islets. This observation indicates that gender also modulates the impact of Slc30a8 deletion, though the physiological explanation as to why impaired insulin secretion is not accompanied by elevated FBG is unclear. Neither male nor female C57BL/6J Slc30a8 KO mice showed impaired glucose tolerance.
Our data suggest that, despite a marked reduction in islet zinc content, the absence of ZnT-8 does not have a substantial impact on mouse physiology.
Herein, the mechanisms of transactivation of gene expression by mouse metal response element-binding transcription factor 1 (MTF-1) were investigated. Evidence obtained from coimmunoprecipitation assays revealed that exposure of the cells to zinc resulted in the rapid formation of a multiprotein complex containing MTF-1, the histone acetyltransferase p300/CBP, and the transcription factor Sp1. Down-regulation of endogenous p300 expression by small interfering RNA transfection significantly decreased zinc-dependent metallothionein I (MT-I) gene transcription without altering induction of zinc transporter 1 (ZnT1). MTF-1 independently facilitated the recruitment of Sp1 and p300 to the protein complex in response to zinc. Mutagenesis demonstrated that the acidic domain, one of three transactivation domains of MTF-1, is required for recruitment of p300 but not Sp1 as well as for zinc-dependent activation of MT-I gene transcription. Furthermore, mutation of leucine residues (L→A) within a nuclear exclusion signal in the MTF-1 acidic domain impaired recruitment of p300 and zinc-dependent activation of the MT-I gene. Nuclear magnetic resonance characterization of an isolated protein fragment corresponding to the MTF-1 acidic region demonstrated that this region is largely unstructured in the presence and absence of excess stoichiometric amounts of zinc. This suggests that the mechanism by which MTF-1 recruits p300 to this complex involves extrinsic-zinc-dependent steps. These studies reveal a novel zinc-responsive mechanism requiring an acidic region of MTF-1 that functions as a nuclear exclusion signal as well as participating in formation of a coactivator complex essential for transactivation of MT-I gene expression.