Journal article

Transferrin receptor expression is controlled differently by transferrin-bound and non-transferrin iron in human cells

We studied the effects of iron supplied as transferrin-bound iron and iron supplied as non-transferrin iron on transferrin receptor expression by human cell lines. Defined conditions of iron supply were represented by (i) 5 microg/ml of iron-saturated transferrin (transferrin medium) and by (ii) 500 microM ferric citrate (ferric citrate medium). Transferrin receptor expression of studied cell lines (HeLa, K562, Jiyoye) grown as long-term cultures in transferrin medium was somewhat higher (up to 137% of the mean fluorescence intensity) than in ferric citrate medium. The receptor expression corresponded with cellular iron regulatory protein (IRP) activity (ratio activated/total), which was also higher in transferrin medium (0.69-0.84) than in ferric citrate medium (0.33-0.60). However, unexpectedly much higher (about 65-135-fold) cellular iron levels were found in ferric citrate medium (13.9-14.9 nmol/10(6) cells) than in transferrin medium (0.11-0.21 nmol/10(6) cells). In contrast to the iron levels, cellular ferritin levels of the cells in ferric citrate medium (38.3-130 ng/10(6) cells) were only about 2-7-fold higher than in transferrin medium (6.8-61.5 ng/10(6) cells). We suggest that iron supplied as non-transferrin iron (ferric citrate) is apparently less available for the control of transferrin receptor expression via IRP activity than iron supplied as transferrin.


    Institute of Molecular Genetics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague.


    • GR-KUHN-ARTICLE-1998-001

    Record created on 2008-02-25, modified on 2016-08-08


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