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Mutat Res. 2001 Apr 18;475(1-2):161-7.

Zinc and the gene.

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CSIRO Health Sciences & Nutrition, Adelaide, Australia, PO Box 10041, BC, SA 5000, Adelaide, Australia.


A significant portion of cellular zinc is found in the nucleus where it appears to be critically involved in maintaining genetic stability and in the process of gene expression. With regard to gene expression zinc functions mechanistically at several levels but recent interest has focussed especially on the involvement of zinc in DNA transcription through the activity of transcription factors which contain specific zinc-finger regions which bind to DNA and, in conjunction with other families of transcription factors, control cell proliferation, differentiation and cell death. Because of the central importance of zinc in cell division and growth, considerable attention is paid to zinc as an essential trace element and much has been written concerning dietary sources of zinc and recommended dietary intakes of the metal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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