In recent years, specific post-transcriptional mechanisms in the cytoplasm of vertebrate cells have been elucidated that directly affect the stability and translation of mRNAs coding for central proteins in iron metabolism. This review shall focus primarily on these mechanisms. Other levels of control, either affecting gene transcription and/ or related to the function of iron-capturing substances and transmembrane transport, are also likely to exist and to influence the iron balance and utilization. They are, however, much less clear