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Diabetes Obes Metab. 2009 Nov;11 Suppl 4:202-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2009.01110.x.

Zinc, a regulator of islet function and glucose homeostasis.

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Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


It is well known that zinc is required in pancreatic beta-cells in the process of insulin biosynthesis and the maturation of insulin secretory granules. In fact, the zinc level in pancreatic islets is amongst the highest in the body and reduction in its levels in the pancreas has been associated with diabetes. High concentrations of zinc can also be toxic because of enhanced oxidative damage. The link between zinc, diabetes and islet dysfunction has recently been reiterated by genomewide association studies that identified an islet cell membrane zinc transporter, SLC30A8 (ZnT8), as one of the risk loci for type 2 diabetes. Here we explore the importance of both zinc and ZnT8 to islet biology and whole body glucose homeostasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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