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."