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J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 15;280(15):15456-63. Epub 2005 Feb 10.

The ZIP7 gene (Slc39a7) encodes a zinc transporter involved in zinc homeostasis of the Golgi apparatus.

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Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Western Human Nutrition Research Center, University of California at Davis, 95616, USA. <>


It has been suggested that ZIP7 (Ke4, Slc39a7) belongs to the ZIP family of zinc transporters. Transient expression of the V5-tagged human ZIP7 fusion protein in CHO cells led to elevation of the cytoplasmic zinc level. However, the precise function of ZIP7 in cellular zinc homeostasis is not clear. Here we report that the ZIP7 gene is ubiquitously expressed in human and mouse tissues. The endogenous ZIP7 was associated with the Golgi apparatus and was capable of transporting zinc from the Golgi apparatus into the cytoplasm of the cell. Moreover, by using the yeast mutant strain Deltazrt3 that was defective in release of stored zinc from vacuoles, we found that ZIP7 was able to decrease the level of accumulated zinc and in the meantime to increase the nuclear/cytoplasmic labile zinc level in the ZIP7-expressing zrt3 mutant. We showed that the protein expression of ZIP7 was repressed under zinc-rich condition, whereas there were no effects of zinc on ZIP7 gene expression and intracellular localization. Neither did zinc deficiency affect the intracellular distribution of ZIP7 in mammalian cells. Our study demonstrates that ZIP7 is a functional zinc transporter that acts by transporting zinc from the Golgi apparatus to the cytoplasm of the cell.

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