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Drosophila fear of intimacy encodes a Zrt/IRT-like protein (ZIP) family zinc transporter functionally related to mammalian ZIP proteins


Drosophila fear of intimacy encodes a Zrt/IRT-like protein (ZIP) family zinc transporter functionally related to mammalian ZIP proteins



Journal of Biological Chemistry 280(1): 787-795



ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258

PMID: 15509557

DOI: 10.1074/jbc.m411308200

Zinc is essential for many cellular processes, and its concentration in the cell must be tightly controlled. The Zrt/IRT-like protein (ZIP) family of zinc transporters have recently been identified as the main regulators of zinc influx into the cytoplasm; however, little is known about their in vivo roles. Previously, we have shown that fear of intimacy (foi) encodes a putative member of the ZIP family that is essential for development in Drosophila. Here we demonstrate that FOI can act as an ion transporter in both yeast and mammalian cell assays and is specific for zinc. We also provide insight into the mechanism of action of the ZIP family through membrane topology and structure-function analyses of FOI. Our work demonstrates that Drosophila FOI is closely related to mammalian ZIP proteins at the functional level and that Drosophila represents an ideal system for understanding the in vivo roles of this family. In addition, this work indicates that the control of zinc by ZIP transporters may play a critical role in regulating developmental processes.

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Accession: 011978373

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