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Zinc transporters and zinc signaling: new insights into their role in type 2 diabetes

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 10:57 authored by Stephen MyersStephen Myers
Zinc is an essential trace element that plays a vital role in many biological processes including growth and development, immunity, and metabolism. Recent studies have highlighted zinc’s dynamic role as a “cellular second messenger” in the control of insulin signaling and glucose homeostasis. Accordingly, mechanisms that contribute to dysfunctional zinc signaling are suggested to be associated with metabolic disease states including cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. The actions of the proteins that control the uptake, storage, and distribution of zinc, the zinc transporters, are under intense investigation due to their emerging role in type 2 diabetes. The synthesis, secretion, and action of insulin are dependent on zinc and the transporters that make this ion available to cellular processes. This suggests that zinc plays a previously unidentified role where changes in zinc status over time may affect insulin activity. This previously unexplored concept would raise a whole new area of research into the pathophysiology of insulin resistance and introduce a new class of drug target with utility for diabetes pharmacotherapy.


Publication title

International Journal of Endocrinology

Article number









School of Nursing


Hindawi Publishing Corporation

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright © 2015 Stephen A. Myers Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified

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