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Crosstalk between zinc and fatty acids in plasma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In mammalian blood plasma, serum albumin acts as a transport protein for free fatty acids, other lipids and hydrophobic molecules including neurodegenerative peptides, and essential metal ions such as zinc to allow their systemic distribution. Importantly, binding of these chemically extremely diverse entities is not independent, but linked allosterically. One particularly intriguing allosteric link exists between free fatty acid and zinc binding. Albumin thus mediates crosstalk between energy status/metabolism and organismal zinc handling. In recognition of the fact that even small changes in extracellular zinc concentration and speciation modulate the function of many cell types, the albumin-mediated impact of free fatty acid concentration on zinc distribution may be significant for both normal physiological processes including energy metabolism, insulin activity, heparin neutralisation, blood coagulation, and zinc signalling, and a range of disease states, including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, myocardial ischemia, diabetes, and thrombosis.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-542
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number4
Early online date25 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

    Research areas

  • Zinc, Non-esterified fatty acids, Plasma, Serum, Albumin

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