Zinc
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Zinc
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Zinc is an essential trace element that is required for the function of a wide variety of enzymes and transcription factors. Notably, a coordinated zinc icon is required for zinc fingers, which are important DNA-binding structural motifs. Since zinc plays such an important biological role, zinc deficiency leads to a number of characteristic signs and symptoms. One such enzyme requiring zinc is collagenase III, an enzyme involved in wound healing. Unsurprisingly, zinc deficiency therefore presents with delayed wound healing. Furthermore, zinc deficiency is characterized by decreased adult hair, notably in the axillary, facial, and pubic regions. It also leads to a number of sensory problems, such as anosmia (loss of smell) and dysgeusia (loss of taste). Zinc deficiency can also lead to liver problems, as it predisposes patients to alcoholic cirrhosis. Another notable characteristic is hypogonadism, which is also known as diminished gonadal activity. Finally, acrodermatitis enteropathica is a metabolic disorder that affects zinc uptake through the bowel mucous membrane. It is most notably characterized by a perioral, perianal, and perianal rash.