Selenoprotein K (SelK) is encoded in one of the 25 selenium-containing protein genes in humans. It is present in most organisms in the animal kingdom including mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish, and its homologs also occur in other eukaryotes. It is a small protein of approximately 10 kDa located in the endoplasmic reticulum membrane and possibly involved in retrotranslocation of proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum. The exact function of SelK remains to be determined.
Selenium (Se) is an essential micronutrient that plays important roles in human health, and its severe dietary deficiency is associated with various diseases such as Keshan disease, Kashin-Beck disease, and numerous other disorders including cancer and heart disease (Hatfield et al. 2012). The biological roles of selenium in health and development are exerted in large part through its presence in selenoproteins as selenocysteine (Sec,...
The author thanks Dr. Dolph L. Hatfield, NCI, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA and Dr.Vadim N. Gladyshev, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA for valuable comments on this chapter.
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