Zinc-dependent lysosomal enlargement in TRPML1-deficient cells involves MTF-1 transcription factor and ZnT4 (Slc30a4) transporter

Ira Kukic, Jeffrey K. Lee, Jessica Coblentz, Shannon L. Kelleher, Kirill Kiselyov

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63 Scopus citations


Zinc is critical for a multitude of cellular processes, including gene expression, secretion and enzymatic activities. Cellular zinc is controlled by zinc-chelating proteins and by zinc transporters. The recent identification of zinc permeability of the lysosomal ion channel TRPML1 (transient receptor potential mucolipin 1), and the evidence of abnormal zinc levels in cells deficient in TRPML1, suggested a role for TRPML1 in zinc transport. In the present study we provide newevidence for such a role and identify additional cellular components responsible for it. In agreement with the previously published data, an acute siRNA (small interfering RNA)-driven TRPML1 KD (knockdown) leads to the build-up of large cytoplasmic vesicles positive for LysoTrackerTM and zinc staining, when cells are exposed to high concentrations of zinc.We now show that lysosomal enlargement and zinc build-up in TRPML1-KD cells exposed to zinc are ameliorated by KD of the zinc-sensitive transcription factor MTF-1 (metal-regulatoryelement- binding transcription factor-1) or the zinc transporter ZnT4. TRPML1 KD is associated with a build-up of cytoplasmic zinc and with enhanced transcriptional response of mRNA for MT2a (metallothionein 2a). TRPML1 KD did not suppress lysosomal secretion, but it did delay zinc leak from the lysosomes into the cytoplasm. These results underscore a role forTRPML1 in zinc metabolism. Furthermore, they suggest that TRPML1 works in concert with ZnT4 to regulate zinc translocation between the cytoplasm and lysosomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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