ZIP8 and Zinc transport
Zinc is an essential trace element and acts as a cofactor for many enzymatic reactions. Its intracellular concentration is regulated by the Zinc transporter ZIP8. Since GWAS studies revealed a correlation between a ZIP8 polymorphism and low blood pressure and impaired cholesterol metabolism, we developed a mouse model carrying this polymorphism and are currently analyzing its phenotype. Telemetry, metabolic cages, glucose and insulin tolerance tests, histology and urine and blood chemistry are the methods used to evaluate the pathophysiological changes resulting from a reduction of Zinc transport. In parallel, a ligand library is screen to uncover putative ZIP8 inhibitors. Providing these studies are successful, we could imagine proposing genetic analysis of ZIP8 polymorphism in patients with hypertension, glucose intolerance or hepatic steatosis and treat them with ZIP8 inhibitors.