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JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry

, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp 1123-1134

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Zinc homeostasis and signaling in health and diseases

Zinc signaling
  • Toshiyuki FukadaAffiliated withLaboratory for Cytokine Signaling, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and ImmunologyLaboratory of Allergy and Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University
  • , Satoru YamasakiAffiliated withLaboratory for Cytokine Signaling, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology
  • , Keigo NishidaAffiliated withLaboratory for Cytokine Signaling, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and ImmunologyImmune System, Cooperation Program, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University
  • , Masaaki MurakamiAffiliated withLaboratories of Developmental Immunology, JST-CREST, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Graduate School of Medicine, WPI Immunology Frontier Research Center, Osaka University
  • , Toshio HiranoAffiliated withLaboratory for Cytokine Signaling, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and ImmunologyLaboratories of Developmental Immunology, JST-CREST, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Graduate School of Medicine, WPI Immunology Frontier Research Center, Osaka University Email author 

Abstract

The essential trace element zinc (Zn) is widely required in cellular functions, and abnormal Zn homeostasis causes a variety of health problems that include growth retardation, immunodeficiency, hypogonadism, and neuronal and sensory dysfunctions. Zn homeostasis is regulated through Zn transporters, permeable channels, and metallothioneins. Recent studies highlight Zn’s dynamic activity and its role as a signaling mediator. Zn acts as an intracellular signaling molecule, capable of communicating between cells, converting extracellular stimuli to intracellular signals, and controlling intracellular events. We have proposed that intracellular Zn signaling falls into two classes, early and late Zn signaling. This review addresses recent findings regarding Zn signaling and its role in physiological processes and pathogenesis.

Keywords

Zinc Signaling Zinc transporter Metallothionein Disease