DOI: 10.1101/474528Nov 20, 2018Paper

Elucidating the H+ coupled Zn2+ transport mechanism of ZIP4; implications in Acrodermatitis Enteropathica

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Eitan Hoch, Israel Sekler


Cellular Zn2+ homeostasis is tightly regulated and primarily mediated by designated Zn2+ transport proteins, namely ZnTs (SLC30) that shuttle Zn2+ efflux, and ZIPs (SLC39) that mediate Zn2+ influx. While the functional determinants of ZnT-mediated Zn2+ efflux are elucidated, those of ZIP transporters are lesser understood. Previous work has suggested three distinct molecular mechanisms: (I) HCO3- or (II) H+ coupled Zn2+ transport, or (III) a pH regulated electrodiffusional mode of transport. Here, using live-cell fluorescent imaging of Zn2+ and H+, in cells expressing ZIP4, we set out to interrogate its function. Intracellular pH changes or the presence of HCO3- failed to induce Zn2+ influx. In contrast, extracellular acidification stimulated ZIP4 dependent Zn2+ uptake. Furthermore, Zn2+ uptake was coupled to enhanced H+ influx in cells expressing ZIP4, thus indicating that ZIP4 is not acting as a pH regulated channel but rather as an H+ powered Zn2+ co-transporter. We further illustrate how this functional mechanism is affected by genetic variants in SLC39A4 that in turn lead to Acrodermatitis Enteropathica, a rare condition of Zn2+ deficiency.

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