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Questions and Controversies in Zinc Signaling

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Zinc Signals 2007

3 June 2007

LIZ ADLER

The Zinc Signals 2007 8th International Conference, under the auspices of the Institute of Zinc in Biology, is underway at the Cook's Branch Conservancy, a private family-owned preserve in Montgomery County Texas.

In the Saturday morning session, Yang Li, Jing Qian, and Charles Zorumski discussed various aspects of zinc signaling in the hippocampus, ranging from interactions between zinc and calcium signals, to the effects of zinc on postsynaptic neuronal firing, to the possible role of zinc in metaplasticity. Richard Chappel continued the synaptic theme, but shifted focus from the hippocampus to the retina, describing research indicating that zinc functions as a vertebrate retinal neurotransmitter. David Soybel spoke about the relationship between zinc transport and H+ secretion in gastric parietal cells. Robert Colvin wrapped up the morning session with a talk on approaches to analyzing zinc metallanomics in resting neurons.

The Saturday afternoon session concentrated on zinc and the prostate, with talks by Fabrice Chimienti, Renty Franklin, and Christopher Frederickson on zinc and zinc transporters in the normal and malignant prostate and the possibility that zinc concentration in prostatic fluid might provide a diagnostic biomarker for prostate cancer.

Saturday's meeting concluded with a keynote speech by Nobel Laureate Ferid Murad, describing his research another molecule once thought to be "unconventional" and unlikely to be a key player in cell signaling, NO.

Reported by Elizabeth M. Adler

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