Studies of Zinc Transport and Its Contribution to Zinc Homeostasis in Cultured Cortical Neurons - Yan Qin

Studies of Zinc Transport and Its Contribution to Zinc Homeostasis in Cultured Cortical Neurons

By Yan Qin

  • Release Date: 2013-05-19
  • Genre: Medical
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Studies of Zinc Transport and Its Contribution to Zinc Homeostasis in Cultured Cortical Neurons Yan Qin Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Zn2+ dyshomeostasis in brain might be involved in the pathogenesis of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. Thus, neurons tightly control the level of intracellular free Zn2+ within a narrow window of optimal concentration. In this study, the mechanisms of transporter-mediated Zn2+ extrusion and uptake across the plasma membrane of cultured cortical neurons were studied. Changes in intracellular Zn2+ levels were tracked in individual neurons by microfluorometry using a Zn2+ selective fluorophore, FluoZin3. Zn2+ uptake and efflux was measured by first loading cultured cortical neurons with Zn2+ then reducing extracellular Zn2+ to near zero by addition of EDTA. Studies revealed that the primary means of Zn2+ efflux in cortical neurons required both extracellular Na+ and Ca2+. A Na+, Ca2+/Zn2+ exchanger mechanism is proposed to extrude Zn2+ at the expense of electrochemical sodium and calcium gradients. ZnT1 (SLC30A1) protein levels were reduced around 40% in cultured cortical neurons (*p<0.001) by vector-based shRNA interference (shRNAi). Reducing ZnT1 expression caused the Zn2+ efflux to decrease compared with the control neurons (*p<0.01), which are consistent with ZnT1’s role as a Zn2+ efflux transporter or at least regulating Zn2+ efflux. In case of Zn2+ uptake, acidosis or alkalosis both inhibited Zn2+ uptake at resting condition. Depolarization induced large Zn2+ uptake in neurons. ZIP1 (SLC39A1) protein levels were reduced around 22% by shRNAi (*p<0.001) and resulted in less Zn2+ uptake (*p<0.05). In addition, effects of intracellular zinc levels on the expression of zinc transporter proteins were studied. Right after hZIP1 mRNA was injected into oocytes, oocytes were incubated with different solutions with different levels zinc. The expression of hZIP1 protein on the membrane of oocytes treated with TPEN was increased compare with control (regular medium plus DMSO). When the oocytes were incubated with 10 µM ZnCl2, the hZIP1 expression was highly reduced observed by immunostaining.The findings of my studies can be summarized into three aspects: firstly, a Na+, Ca2+/Zn2+ exchanger and ZnT1 appear to be separate routes acting to reduce intracellular Zn2+ levels in cultured cortical neurons. Second, a Zn2+, HCO3- symporter mechanism and ZIP1 could uptake Zn2+ into neurons at resting condition. Third, hZIP1 protein expression can be regulated by zinc levels at translational levels.

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