Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 143, Issue 2, pp 603–611 | Cite as

Expression of the Zinc Transporters Genes and Metallothionein in Obese Women

  • Paula Beatriz Krebsky dos Santos Rocha
  • Amanda de Castro Amorim
  • Artemizia Francisca de Sousa
  • Semíramis Jamil Hadad do Monte
  • Luiz Claudio Demes da Mata Sousa
  • Nadir do Nascimento Nogueira
  • José Machado Moita Neto
  • Dilina do Nascimento Marreiro


Research has investigated the participation of zinc transport proteins and metallothionein in the metabolism of this mineral. However, studies about the genetic expression of these proteins in obese patients are scarce. The study determined the expression of zinc transporter protein codifying genes (ZnT-1, Zip-1 and Zip-3) and of metallothionein in 55 obese women, aged between 20 and 56 years. The assessment of body composition was carried out using anthropometric measurements and bioelectrical impedance. Zinc intake was obtained by recording diet over a 3-day period, and the nutritional analysis was carried out using NutWin software version 1.5. The plasmatic and erythrocytary zinc were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry (λ = 213. 9 nm). The determination of mRNA expression of the zinc transporter proteins and metallothionein was carried out using blood, using the RT-PCR method. The mean values of body mass index were 37.9 ± 5.5 kg/m2. The average intake of zinc was 9.4 ± 2.3 mg/day. The analysis of the zinc plasma concentrations showed values of 58.4 ± 10.9 μg/dL. The mean values of zinc in the erythroytes were 38.7 ± 9.1 μg/g Hb. The metallothionein gene had a higher expression in the blood, when compared to zinc transporters ZnT-1, Zip-1, and Zip-3 (p = 0.01). The study shows that there are alterations in the biochemical parameters of zinc in obese patients assessed, as well as higher expression of the codifying gene metallothionein, when compared to the investigated zinc transporters.


Zinc Zinc transporters Metallothionein Obesity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paula Beatriz Krebsky dos Santos Rocha
    • 1
  • Amanda de Castro Amorim
    • 1
  • Artemizia Francisca de Sousa
    • 1
  • Semíramis Jamil Hadad do Monte
    • 2
  • Luiz Claudio Demes da Mata Sousa
    • 3
  • Nadir do Nascimento Nogueira
    • 4
  • José Machado Moita Neto
    • 5
  • Dilina do Nascimento Marreiro
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Masters student of Health Sciences at the Federal University of Piauí (UFPI)TeresinaBrazil
  2. 2.Adjunct Professor of Parasitology and Microbiology at UFPITeresinaBrazil
  3. 3.Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at UFPITeresinaBrazil
  4. 4.Associate Professor of Nutrition at UFPITeresinaBrazil
  5. 5.Associate Professor of Chemical at UFPITeresinaBrazil
  6. 6.Adjunct Professor of Nutrition at UFPITeresinaBrazil
  7. 7.Rua Hugo Napoleão n° 665 Ed. Palazzo RealeTeresinaBrazil

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