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Zinc in innate and adaptive tumor immunity

John, E and Laskow, TC and Buchser, WJ and Pitt, BR and Basse, PH and Butterfield, LH and Kalinski, P and Lotze, MT (2010) Zinc in innate and adaptive tumor immunity. Journal of Translational Medicine, 8.

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Zinc is important. It is the second most abundant trace metal with 2-4 grams in humans. It is an essential trace element, critical for cell growth, development and differentiation, DNA synthesis, RNA transcription, cell division, and cell activation. Zinc deficiency has adverse consequences during embryogenesis and early childhood development, particularly on immune functioning. It is essential in members of all enzyme classes, including over 300 signaling molecules and transcription factors. Free zinc in immune and tumor cells is regulated by 14 distinct zinc importers (ZIP) and transporters (ZNT1-8). Zinc depletion induces cell death via apoptosis (or necrosis if apoptotic pathways are blocked) while sufficient zinc levels allows maintenance of autophagy. Cancer cells have upregulated zinc importers, and frequently increased zinc levels, which allow them to survive. Based on this novel synthesis, approaches which locally regulate zinc levels to promote survival of immune cells and/or induce tumor apoptosis are in order. © 2010 John et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
John, E
Laskow, TC
Buchser, WJ
Pitt, BRbrucep@pitt.eduBRUCEP
Basse, PHbasse@pitt.eduBASSE
Butterfield, LHlhb3@pitt.eduLHB3
Kalinski, Ppak5@pitt.eduPAK5
Lotze, MTmtl5@pitt.eduMTL5
Date: 18 November 2010
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Translational Medicine
Volume: 8
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1186/1479-5876-8-118
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Occupational Medicine
School of Medicine > Immunology
School of Medicine > Medicine
School of Medicine > Surgery
Refereed: Yes
Article Type: Review
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2016 16:06
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2020 13:55


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