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Zinc detoxification: a functional genomics and transcriptomics analysis in Drosophila melanogaster cultured cells

By Stephanie E. Mohr, Kirstin Rudd, Yanhui Hu, Wei Roc Song, Quentin Gilly, Michael Buckner, Benjamin E Housden, Colleen Kelley, Jonathan Zirin, Rong Tao, Gabriel O Amador, Katarzyna Sierzputowska, Aram Comjean, Norbert Perrimon

Posted 22 Aug 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/179598 (published DOI: 10.1534/g3.117.300447)

Cells require some metals, such as zinc and manganese, but excess levels of these metals can be toxic. As a result, cells have evolved complex mechanisms for maintaining metal homeostasis and surviving metal intoxication. Here, we present the results of a large-scale functional genomic screen in Drosophila cultured cells for modifiers of zinc chloride toxicity, together with transcriptomics data for wildtype or genetically zinc-sensitized cells challenged with mild zinc chloride supplementation. Altogether, we identified 47 genes for which knockdown conferred sensitivity or resistance to toxic zinc or manganese chloride treatment, and more than 1800 putative zinc-responsive genes. Analysis of the omics data points to the relevance of ion transporters, glutathione-related factors, and conserved disease-associated genes in zinc detoxification. Specific genes identified in the zinc screen include orthologs of human disease-associated genes CTNS, PTPRN (also known as IA-2), and ATP13A2 (also known as PARK9). We show that knockdown of red dog mine (rdog; CG11897), a candidate zinc detoxification gene encoding an ABCC-type transporter family protein related to yeast cadmium factor (YCF1), confers sensitivity to zinc intoxication in cultured cells and that rdog is transcriptionally up-regulated in response to zinc stress. As there are many links between the biology of zinc and other metals and human health, the omics datasets presented here provide a resource that will allow researchers to explore metal biology in the context of diverse health-relevant processes.

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