Zinc at the crossroads of exercise and proteostasis

Juan Diego Hernández-Camacho et al.

Redox Biol. 2020 Aug;35:101529. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2020.101529. Epub 2020 Apr 1.


Zinc is an essential element for all forms of life, and one in every ten human proteins is a zinc protein. Zinc has catalytic, structural and signaling functions and its correct homeostasis affects many cellular processes. Zinc deficiency leads to detrimental consequences, especially in tissues with high demand such as skeletal muscle. Zinc cellular homeostasis is tightly regulated by different transport and buffer protein systems. Specifically, in skeletal muscle, zinc has been found to affect myogenesis and muscle regeneration due to its effects on muscle cell activation, proliferation and differentiation In relation to skeletal muscle, exercise has been shown to modulate zinc serum and urinary levels and could directly affect cellular zinc transport. The oxidative stress induced by exercise may provide the basis for the mild zinc deficiency observed in athletes and could have severe consequences on health and sport performance. Proteostasis is induced during exercise and zinc plays an essential role in several of the associated pathways.

Keywords: Exercise; Physical performance; Skeletal muscle; Zinc homeostasis; Zinc regulation.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of competing interest The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

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