Friday, July 17, 2015

Link between Hh and zinc revealed in flies could have relevance to several human diseases

Xie J, Owen T, Xia K, Singh AV, Tou E, Li L, Arduini B, Li H, Wan LQ, Callahan B, Wang C. Zinc inhibits Hedgehog autoprocessing: linking zinc deficiency with Hedgehog activation. J Biol Chem. 2015 May 1;290(18):11591-600. PMID: 25787080; PMCID: PMC4416862.

From the abstract:  "Zinc is an essential trace element with wide-ranging biological functions, whereas the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway plays crucial roles in both development and disease. Here we show that there is a mechanistic link between zinc and Hh signaling. ... In normal physiology, zinc likely acts as a negative regulator of Hh autoprocessing and inhibits the generation of Hh ligand and Hh signaling. In many diseases, zinc deficiency and elevated level of Hh ligand co-exist, including prostate cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and autism. Our data suggest a causal relationship between zinc deficiency and the overproduction of Hh ligand."

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