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New research in Drosophila melanogaster has revealed the molecular mechanisms of zinc involvement in many biological processes. A newly discovered Metallothionein is predicted to have a higher zinc specificity than the other isoforms. Zinc negatively regulates tyrosine hydroxylase activity by antagonizing iron binding, thus rendering the enzyme ineffective or non-functional. The identification of a new chaperone of the protein disulfide isomerase family provided mechanistic insight into the protein trafficking defects caused by zinc dyshomeostasis in the secretory pathway. Insect models of tumor pathogenesis indicate that zinc regulates the structural stabilization of cells by transcriptionally regulating matrix metalloproteinases while zinc dyshomeostasis in the secretory pathway modulates cell signaling through endoplastic recticulum stress. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Guiran Xiao. Molecular physiology of zinc in Drosophila melanogaster. Current opinion in insect science. 2022 Jun;51:100899

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PMID: 35276390

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