Zip6 Transporter Is an Essential Component of the Lymphocyte Activation Machinery.

Zip6 Transporter Is an Essential Component of the Lymphocyte Activation Machinery.

Online publication: 14/12/2018 Printed publication: 15 January 2019 Journal: The Journal of Immunology

Abstract:

Zinc deficiency causes immune dysfunction. In T lymphocytes, hypozincemia promotes thymus atrophy, polarization imbalance, and altered cytokine production. Zinc supplementation is commonly used to boost immune function to prevent infectious diseases in at-risk populations. However, the molecular players involved in zinc homeostasis in lymphocytes are poorly understood. In this paper, we wanted to determine the identity of the transporter responsible for zinc entry into lymphocytes. First, in human Jurkat cells, we characterized the effect of zinc on proliferation and activation and found that zinc supplementation enhances activation when T lymphocytes are stimulated using anti-CD3/anti-CD28 Abs. We show that zinc entry depends on specific pathways to correctly tune the NFAT, NF-κB, and AP-1 activation cascades. Second, we used various human and murine models to characterize the zinc transporter family, Zip, during T cell activation and found that Zip6 was strongly upregulated early during activation. Therefore, we generated a Jurkat Zip6 knockout (KO) line to study how the absence of this transporter affects lymphocyte physiology. We found that although Zip6KO cells showed no altered zinc transport or proliferation under basal conditions, under activation, these KO cells showed deficient zinc transport and a drastically impaired activation program. Our work shows that zinc entry into activated lymphocytes depends on Zip6 and that this transporter is essential for the correct function of the cellular activation machinery.

Authors: Colomar-Carando N, Meseguer A, Company-Garrido I, Jutz S, Herrera-Fernández V, Olvera A, Kiefer K, Brander C, Steinberger P, Vicente R 

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