The Leverhulme Trust have awarded a grant of £342,867 to Dr Claudia Blindauer, Dr Hugo van den Berg (both University of Warwick) and Dr Alan Stewart for a project entitled “A qualitative framework linking extracellular zinc speciation and cell uptake”.
Zinc is an essential micronutrient that participates in almost every major biological process. The health and wellbeing of humans and other mammals depends on well-regulated distribution of zinc among the tissues of the body. However, how this regulation is achieved is not fully understood. This new project will explore the hypothesis that uptake of zinc into cells is actively controlled by the zinc-binding capacity of major zinc-binding proteins in blood plasma. This will be achieved by combining biological, chemical, and mathematical methods. This exciting new project will provide crucial new information on an overlooked component of mammalian zinc homeostasis.