A link between zinc transport and diabetes

September 24, 2013

Individuals with a mutation in the gene encoding a zinc transporter, SLC30A8 have an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Insulin granules that are released from pancreatic β cells contain high levels of zinc; however, it is not clear why individuals with mutations in the SLC30A8 zinc transporter gene are predisposed to type 2 diabetes.

In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Yoshio Fujitani and colleagues at Juntendo University investigated the role of zinc transport by SLC30A8 in ? cells. They found that this zinc transporter is required for insulin clearance by the liver and secreted zinc signals to ? cells to stop releasing insulin.

In the accompanying commentary, Alan Attie and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison discuss the dynamic regulatory role of zinc in insulin regulation.

Explore further: Potential diagnostic marker for zinc status offers insights into the effects of zinc deficiency

More information: The diabetes-susceptible gene SLC30A8/ZnT8 regulates hepatic insulin clearance, J Clin Invest. 2013;123(10):4513–4524. DOI: 10.1172/JCI68807
Zinc, insulin, and the liver: a ménage à trois, J Clin Invest. 2013;123(10):4136–4139. DOI: 10.1172/JCI72325

Related Stories

Potential diagnostic marker for zinc status offers insights into the effects of zinc deficiency

August 29, 2013
According to new research published in The FASEB Journal, a drop in blood zinc levels does not directly harm the blood vessel cells. Rather, zinc regulates the production of a small molecular compound, which then circulates ...

Scientists pinpoint a new molecular mechanism tied to pancreatic cancer

August 22, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—New research led by scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and Baylor College of Medicine could aid efforts to diagnose and treat one of the most lethal and hard-to-treat ...

Zinc control could be path to breast cancer treatment

February 6, 2012
The body's control mechanisms for delivering zinc to cells could be key to improving treatment for some types of aggressive breast cancer.

Insulin secretion disrupted by increased fatty acids

September 9, 2013
Patients with type 2 diabetes have increased levels of circulating glucose and fatty acids, which lead to disease complications. In healthy individuals, β cells within pancreatic islets release insulin in response to glucose ...

Increasing shift from islet antibody positivity to diabetes

March 2, 2012
(HealthDay) -- There is an increase in both the prevalence and levels of islet antigen-2 and zinc transporter 8, as well as in autoantibodies, in newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes patients during a period of rising disease ...

Recommended for you

Scientists discover a new way to treat type 2 diabetes

July 21, 2017
Medication currently being used to treat obesity is also proving to have significant health benefits for patients with type 2 diabetes. A new study published today in Molecular Metabolism explains how this therapeutic benefit ...

Alzheimer's drug cuts hallmark inflammation related to metabolic syndrome by 25 percent

July 20, 2017
An existing Alzheimer's medication slashes inflammation and insulin resistance in patients with metabolic syndrome, a potential therapeutic intervention for a highly dangerous condition affecting 30 percent of adults in the ...

Diabetes or its precursor affects 100 million Americans

July 19, 2017
Almost one-third of the US population—100 million people—either has diabetes or its precursor condition, known as pre-diabetes, said a government report Tuesday.

One virus may protect against type 1 diabetes, others may increase risk

July 11, 2017
Doctors can't predict who will develop type 1 diabetes, a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system destroys the cells needed to control blood-sugar levels, requiring daily insulin injections and continual monitoring.

Diabetes complications are a risk factor for repeat hospitalizations, study shows

July 7, 2017
For patients with diabetes, one reason for hospitalization and unplanned hospital readmission is severe dysglycemia (uncontrolled hyperglycemia - high blood sugar, or hypoglycemia - low blood sugar), says new research published ...

Researchers identify promising target to protect bone in patients with diabetes

July 7, 2017
Utilizing metabolomics research techniques, NYU Dentistry researchers investigated the underlying biochemical activity and signaling within the bone marrow of hyperglycemic mice with hopes of reducing fracture risks of diabetics

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.