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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2222; doi:10.3390/ijms18102222

Zinc Signals and Immunity

Institute of Immunology, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Pauwelsstr. 30, 52074 Aachen, Germany
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Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zinc Signaling in Physiology and Pathogenesis)
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Abstract

Zinc homeostasis is crucial for an adequate function of the immune system. Zinc deficiency as well as zinc excess result in severe disturbances in immune cell numbers and activities, which can result in increased susceptibility to infections and development of especially inflammatory diseases. This review focuses on the role of zinc in regulating intracellular signaling pathways in innate as well as adaptive immune cells. Main underlying molecular mechanisms and targets affected by altered zinc homeostasis, including kinases, caspases, phosphatases, and phosphodiesterases, will be highlighted in this article. In addition, the interplay of zinc homeostasis and the redox metabolism in affecting intracellular signaling will be emphasized. Key signaling pathways will be described in detail for the different cell types of the immune system. In this, effects of fast zinc flux, taking place within a few seconds to minutes will be distinguish from slower types of zinc signals, also designated as “zinc waves”, and late homeostatic zinc signals regarding prolonged changes in intracellular zinc. View Full-Text
Keywords: zinc flux; zinc wave; homeostatic zinc signal; signaling pathways; innate and adaptive immunity; zinc deficiency; immune function zinc flux; zinc wave; homeostatic zinc signal; signaling pathways; innate and adaptive immunity; zinc deficiency; immune function
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Maywald, M.; Wessels, I.; Rink, L. Zinc Signals and Immunity. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2222.

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