, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 663–675 | Cite as

Genome-wide identification, in silico characterization and expression analysis of ZIP-like genes from Trichomonas vaginalis in response to Zinc and Iron

  • K. G. Fernández-Martín
  • M. E. Alvarez-Sánchez
  • V. E. Arana-Argáez
  • L. C. Alvarez-Sánchez
  • J. C. Lara-Riegos
  • J. C. Torres-RomeroEmail author


Trace elements such as Zinc and Iron are essential components of metalloproteins and serve as cofactors or structural elements for enzymes involved in several important biological processes in almost all organisms. Because either excess or insufficient levels of Zn and Fe can be harmful for the cells, the homeostatic levels of these trace minerals must be tightly regulated. The Zinc regulated transporter, Iron regulated transporter-like Proteins (ZIP) comprise a diverse family, with several paralogues in diverse organisms and are considered essential for the Zn and Fe uptake and homeostasis. Zn and Fe has been shown to regulate expression of proteins involved in metabolism and pathogenicity mechanisms in the protozoan pathogen Trichomonas vaginalis, in contrast high concentrations of these elements were also found to be toxic for T. vaginalis trophozoites. Nevertheless, Zn and Fe uptake and homeostasis mechanisms is not yet clear in this parasite. We performed a genome-wide analysis and localized the 8 members of the ZIP gene family in T. vaginalis (TvZIP1-8). The bioinformatic programs predicted that the TvZIP proteins are highly conserved and show similar properties to the reported in other ZIP orthologues. The expression patterns of TvZIP1, 3, 5 and 7 were diminished in presence of Zinc, while the rest of the TvZIP genes showed an unchanged profile in this condition. In addition, TvZIP2 and TvZIP4 showed a differential expression pattern in trophozoites growth under different Iron conditions. These results suggest that TvZIP genes encode membrane transporters that may be responsible for the Zn and Fe acquisition in T. vaginalis.


Zinc Iron ZIP transporters Trichomonas vaginalis Gene family Expression analysis 



This work was undertaken as part of a research project supported by Grant 237990 (to J.C. Torres-Romero) from Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), México. K.G. Fernández-Martín is a scholarship recipient from CONACYT. We thank MI Jazmín Salett Novelo Castilla, from the Laboratorio de Absorción Atómica, Facultad de Química de la Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, for their help in the FAAS measurements assays.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. G. Fernández-Martín
    • 1
  • M. E. Alvarez-Sánchez
    • 2
  • V. E. Arana-Argáez
    • 3
  • L. C. Alvarez-Sánchez
    • 4
  • J. C. Lara-Riegos
    • 1
  • J. C. Torres-Romero
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Bioquímica y Genética MolecularFacultad de Química de la Universidad Autónoma de YucatánMéridaMexico
  2. 2.Posgrado en Ciencias GenómicasUniversidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México (UACM)Ciudad de MéxicoMexico
  3. 3.Laboratorio de FarmacologíaFacultad de Química de la Universidad Autónoma de YucatánMéridaMexico
  4. 4.Laboratorio de VirologíaCentro de Investigaciones Regionales “Dr, Hideyo Noguchi” de la Universidad Autónoma de YucatánMéridaMexico

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