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Mariea De Bosco

Mariea is undertaking study into the role of zinc and zinc transporters in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. Zinc is an important trace element shown to play an important structural and functional role in pancreas being required by endocrine islet cell for insulin secretion and by exocrine acinar cells as pancreatic juice component. There are two families of zinc transporters, SLC30A (ZnT) involved in the efflux of zinc and influx of zinc into intracellular organelles and the SLC39A (ZIP) family involved in the influx of zinc from the extracellular space to the cytoplasm of the cell. One of the zinc transporters ZnT8 is a member of the SLC30A family is expressed very highly in the pancreatic islets and involved packaging and secretion insulin in response to glucose, suggesting a possible role in regulating glycemia. ZnT8 in studies identified polymorphisms in the ZnT8 gene conferring increased risk of post transplantation diabetes. Our study aims to investigate the zinc and zinc transporter regulation in a type 2 diabetic db/db mice model compared to age matched control (C57BL6J) mice at 4, 10 and 18 weeks of age. We have used flame atomic absorption to measure the total zinc in the pancreas. We used ZINPYR-1 flurophore to detect the (granular zinc) and immunofluorescence staining using frozen sections of pancreas of control and diabetic mice and were stained using zinc transporter antibodies. To investigate the regulation of zinc transporters we treated MIN6 beta cell line with zinc, glucose and inflammatory cytokines.


  • Discipline of Medicine Travel Grant, 2012
  • TSANZ Young Investigator Book Prize, 2013
  • IPITA Young Investigator Travel Award, 2013

Bosco MD, Mohanasundaram DM, Drogemuller CJ, Lang CJ, Zalewski PD, Coates PT (2010). Zinc and zinc transporter regulation in pancreatic islets and the potential role of zinc in islet transplantation. Review of Diabetes Studies. Winter; 7(4):263-74.

Research Interests: