|solute carrier family 39 (zinc transporter), member 12
|solute carrier family 39 (metal ion transporter), member 12
| Taylor KM, Nicholson RI. The LZT proteins; the LIV-1 subfamily of zinc transporters.Biochim Biophys Acta. 2003 Apr 1;1611(1-2):16-30. Review. PMID: 12659941 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Zinc is an essential ion for cells with a vital role to play in controlling the cellular processes of the cell, such as growth, development and differentiation. Specialist proteins called zinc transporters control the level of intracellular zinc in cells. In mammals, the ZIP family of zinc transporters has a pivotal role in maintaining the correct level of intracellular zinc by their ability to transport zinc into cells from outside, although they may also transport metal ions other than zinc. There are now recognised to be four subfamilies of the ZIP transporters, including the recently discovered LIV-1 subfamily which has similarity to the oestrogen-regulated gene LIV-1, previously implicated in metastatic breast cancer. We call this new subfamily LZT, for LIV-1 subfamily of ZIP zinc Transporters. Here we document current knowledge of this previously uncharacterised group of proteins, which includes the KE4 proteins. LZT proteins are similar to ZIP transporters in secondary structure and ability to transport metal ions across the plasma membrane or intracellular membranes. However, LZT proteins have a unique motif (HEXPHEXGD) with conserved proline and glutamic acid residues, unprecedented in other zinc transporters. The localisation of LZT proteins to lamellipodiae mirrors cellular location of the membrane-type matrix metalloproteases. These differences to other zinc transporters may be consistent with an alternative role for LZT proteins in cells, particularly in diseases such as cancer.