Background: Zinc is emerging as an important intracellular signaling molecule, as well as fulfilling essential structural and catalytic functions through incorporation in a myriad of zinc metalloproteins so it is important to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of zinc homeostasis, including the subcellular localizations of zinc transporters. Principal Findings: Two splice variants of the human SLC30A5 Zn transporter gene (ZnT5) have been reported in the literature. These variants differ at their N- and C-terminal regions, corresponding with the use of different 5′ and 3′ exons. We demonstrate that full length human ZnT5 variant B is a genuine transcript in human intestinal cells and confirm expression of both variant A and variant B in a range of untreated human tissues by splice variant-specific RT-PCR. Using N- or C-terminal GFP or FLAG fusions of both isoforms of ZnT5 we identify that the differential subcellular localization to the Golgi apparatus and ER respectively is a function of their alternative C-terminal sequences. These different C-terminal regions result from the incorporation into the mature transcript of either the whole of exon 14 (variant B) or only the 5′ region of exon 14 plus exons 15-17 (variant A). Conclusions: We thus propose that exons 15 to 17 include a signal that results in trafficking of ZnT5 to the Golgi apparatus and that the 3′ end of exon 14 includes a signal that leads to retention in the ER.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 24 Aug 2011|