, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 133–140

Dietary zinc depletion and repletion affects plasma proteins: an analysis of the plasma proteome


    • Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer SciencesUniversity of Georgia
  • Kathie Wickwire
    • Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer SciencesUniversity of Georgia
  • Emily Ho
    • School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, College of Public Health and Human SciencesOregon State University
  • Carolyn S. Chung
    • Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, Center for Food Safety and Applied NutritionUnited States Food and Drug Administration
  • Janet King
    • Center for Nutrition and MetabolismChildren’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute

DOI: 10.1007/s10534-012-9600-4

Cite this article as:
Grider, A., Wickwire, K., Ho, E. et al. Biometals (2013) 26: 133. doi:10.1007/s10534-012-9600-4


Zinc (Zn) deficiency is a problem world-wide. Current methods for assessing Zn status are limited to measuring plasma or serum Zn within populations suspected of deficiency. Despite the high prevalence of Zn deficiency in the human population there are no methods currently available for sensitively assessing Zn status among individuals. The purpose of this research was to utilize a proteomic approach using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE) and mass spectrometry to identify protein biomarkers that were sensitive to changes in dietary Zn levels in humans. Proteomic analysis was performed in human plasma samples (n = 6) obtained from healthy adult male subjects that completed a dietary Zn depletion/repletion protocol, current dietary zinc intake has a greater effect on fractional zinc absorption than does longer term zinc consumption in healthy adult men. Chung et al. (Am J Clin Nutr 87 (5):1224–1229, 2008). After a 13 day Zn acclimatization period where subjects consumed a Zn-adequate diet, the male subjects consumed a marginal Zn-depleted diet for 42 days followed by consumption of a Zn-repleted diet for 28 days. The samples at baseline, end of depletion and end of repletion were pre-fractionated through immuno-affinity columns to remove 14 highly abundant proteins, and each fraction separated by 2DE. Following staining by colloidal Coomassie blue and densitometric analysis, three proteins were identified by mass spectrometry as affected by changes in dietary Zn. Fibrin β and chain E, fragment double D were observed in the plasma protein fraction that remained bound to the immunoaffinity column. An unnamed protein that was related to immunoglobulins was observed in the immunodepleted plasma fraction. Fibrin β increased two-fold following the Zn depletion period and decreased to baseline values following the Zn repletion period; this protein may serve as a viable biomarker for Zn status in the future.


Fibrin βZn biomarkerMarginal Zn deficiencyDietary Zn depletion and repletionTwo-dimensional gel electrophoresisHemostasis

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012