TCDB is operated by the Saier Lab Bioinformatics Group
Transporter Information:
Name: solute carrier family 39 (zinc transporter), member 4
Symbol: SLC39A4
TC: 2.A.5.4.1
Locations: 8q24.3
Aliases: ZIP4
GenBank: AK025537
Swiss-Prot: Q9H6T8
Accession Number: NM_130849
PubMed (12801924): Dufner-Beattie J, Wang F, Kuo YM, Gitschier J, Eide D, Andrews GK. The acrodermatitis enteropathica gene ZIP4 encodes a tissue-specific,zinc-regulated zinc transporter in mice.J Biol Chem. 2003 Aug 29;278(35):33474-81. Epub 2003 Jun 11. PMID: 12801924 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

The human ZIP4 gene (SLC39A4) is a candidate for the genetic disorder of zinc metabolism acrodermatitis enteropathica. To understand its role in zinc homeostasis, we examined the function and expression of mouse ZIP4. This gene encodes a well conserved eight-transmembrane protein that can specifically increase the influx of zinc into transfected cells. Expression of this gene is robust in tissues involved in nutrient uptake, such as the intestines and embryonic visceral yolk sac, and is dynamically regulated by zinc. Dietary zinc deficiency causes a marked increase in the accumulation of ZIP4 mRNA in these tissues, whereas injection of zinc or increasing zinc content of the diet rapidly reduces its abundance. Zinc can also regulate the accumulation of ZIP4 protein at the apical surface of enterocytes and visceral endoderm cells. These results provide compelling evidence that ZIP4 is a zinc transporter that plays an important role in zinc homeostasis, a process that is defective in acrodermatitis enteropathica in humans.

PubMed (12659941): 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.