Med.Inter.Rev. 2012, 98, 55-59.

Zinc, the trace element essential in living organisms.


Anna SOLÉ PASCUAL1, Małgorzata TYSZKA-CZOCHARA2, Joanna GDULA-ARGASIŃSKA2, Tadeusz LIBROWSKI2, Agata GRZYWACZ3, Włodzimierz OPOKA3

1.Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

2.Department of Radioligands, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland

3.Department of, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland


Abstract

Zinc is a metallic element, of symbol Zn and atomic number 30, that is placed in the group 12 of the periodic table. As an essential trace element, zinc is required to support human biochemical processes. It is found in nearly 200 specific enzymes in the living organisms, and it also serves as structural cofactor for many cellular proteins. [1]

Zinc may exert pleiotropic effects in organism; for that, deficits of cellular zinc content can have catastrophic consequences and are linked to major pathophysiology, such as diabetes, stroke and malformations of brain function [2]. The complexity and importance of zinc homeostasis is reflected by the large variety and number of zinc-related proteins found in almost every cell compartment; for example, this biometal is transported through ZnT (Zn2+ transporter) family and ZIP family, proteins that are completely dedicated to zinc transport [2]. It is also noticeable, that between three and ten percent of all protein products of genes in mammalian genomes bind zinc, which is essential for their folding, activity or conformational change [2].

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Oryginal language: English

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