Iron at the center of ferritin, metal/oxygen homeostasis and novel dietary strategies

X. Liu, K. Hintze, B. Lonnerdal, Elizabeth C. Theil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bioiron central to respiration, photosynthesis and DNA synthesis and complicated by radical chemistry with oxygen depends on ferritin, the super family of protein nanocages (maxi-ferritins in humans, animals, plants and bacteria, and mini-ferritins, also called DPS proteins, in bacteria) for iron and oxygen control. Regulation of ferritin synthesis, best studied in animals, uses DNA transcription and mRNA translation check points. Ferritin is a member of both the "oxidant stress response" gene family that includes thioredoxin reductase and quinine reductase, and a member of the iron responsive gene family that includes ferroportin and mt-aconitase ferritin DNA regulation responds preferentially to oxidant response inducers and ferritin mRNA to iron inducers; heme confers regulator synergy. Ferritin proteins manage iron and oxygen, with ferroxidase sites and iron + oxygen substrates to form mineral of both Fe and O atoms; maxi-ferritins contribute more to cellular iron metabolism and mini-ferritins to stress responses. Iron recovery from ferritin is controlled by gated protein pores, possibly contributing to iron absorption from ferritin, a significant dietary iron source. Ferritin gene regulation is a model for integrating DNA/ mRNA controls, while ferritin protein function is central to molecular nutrition cellular metabolism at the crossroads of iron and oxygen in biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-171
Number of pages5
JournalBiological Research
Volume39
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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    Liu, X., Hintze, K., Lonnerdal, B., & Theil, E. C. (2006). Iron at the center of ferritin, metal/oxygen homeostasis and novel dietary strategies. Biological Research, 39(1), 167-171.