Research Papers:

Zinc transporters are differentially expressed in human non-small cell lung cancer

Cuiping Huang, Xiaobo Cui, Xiaotian Sun, Jingxuan Yang and Min Li _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:66935-66943. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11884

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Cuiping Huang1,2,*, Xiaobo Cui2,3,4,5,*, Xiaotian Sun2,3,4,6,*, Jingxuan Yang2,3,4, Min Li2,3,4

1Department of Internal Medicine, College of Clinical Medicine, Hubei University of Science and Technology, Xianning, Hubei 437100, China

2The Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery, the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA

3Department of Medicine, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA

4Department of Surgery, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA

5Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150081, China

6Department of Internal Medicine, Clinic of August First Film Studio, Beijing 100161, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Min Li, email: [email protected]

Keywords: zinc transporter, ZIP4, expression profiling, lung cancer

Received: June 19, 2016     Accepted: August 26, 2016     Published: September 07, 2016


Lung cancer is one of the most common human malignancies worldwide, but its oncogenesis process remains unclear. Recent studies demonstrated that zinc (Zn) and Zn transporters were associated with the development and progression of human cancers. The role of Zn transporters including ZIPs and ZnTs in lung cancer, however, has never been evaluated. Thus, we aimed to investigate the expression levels of all human Zn transporters, including 14 ZIPs and 10 ZnTs, in eight different lung cancer cell lines and paired human tumor tissues. We observed great variations in ZIPs and ZnTs mRNA levels across cell lines and human lung cancer specimens. ZIPs showed a tendency to be upregulated, while ZnTs exhibited a downward expression trend. ZIP4 was overexpressed in six lung cancer cell lines and 59% (26/44) of tumor tissues, which was consistent with results from lung cancer datasets including TCGA database. Our results indicated that the dysregulation of Zn transporters may contribute to lung tumorigenesis.

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