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Characterization of hepcidin response to holotransferrin in novel recombinant TfR1 HepG2 cellsHepcidin is the key regulator of systemic iron homeostasis. The iron-sensing mechanisms and the role of intracellular iron in modulating hepatic hepcidin secretion are unclear. Therefore, we created a novel cell line, recombinant-TfR1 HepG2, expressing iron-response-element-independent TFRC mRNA to promote cellular iron-overload and examined the effect of excess holotransferrin (5g/L) on cell-surface TfR1, iron content, hepcidin secretion and mRNA expressions of TFRC, HAMP, SLC40A1, HFE and TFR2. Results showed that the recombinant cells exceeded levels of cell-surface TfR1 in wild-type cells under basal (2.8-fold; p<0.03) and holotransferrin-supplemented conditions for 24h and 48h (4.4- and 7.5-fold, respectively; p<0.01). Also, these cells showed higher intracellular iron content than wild-type cells under basal (3-fold; p<0.03) and holotransferrin-supplemented conditions (6.6-fold at 4h; p<0.01). However, hepcidin secretion was not higher than wild-type cells. Moreover, holotransferrin treatment to recombinant cells did not elevate HAMP responses compared to untreated or wild-type cells. In conclusion, increased intracellular iron content in recombinant cells did not increase hepcidin responses compared to wild-type cells, resembling hemochromatosis. Furthermore, TFR2 expression altered within 4h of treatment, while HFE expression altered later at 24h and 48h, suggesting that TFR2 may function prior to HFE in HAMP regulation.
The transfer of iron between ceruloplasmin and transferrinsIt is over 60years since the discovery and isolation of the serum ferroxidase ceruloplasmin. In that time much basic information about the protein has been elucidated including its catalytic and kinetic properties as an enzyme, expression, sequence and structure. The importance of its biological role is indicated in genetic diseases such as aceruloplasminemia where its function is lost through mutation. Despite this wealth of data, fundamental questions about its action remain unanswered and in this article we address the question of how ferric iron produced by the ferroxidase activity of ceruloplasmin could be taken up by transferrins or lactoferrins. Overlapping peptide libraries for human ceruloplasmin have been probed with a number of different lactoferrins to identify putative lactoferrin-binding regions on human ceruloplasmin. Docking software, 3D-Garden, has been used to model the binding of human lactoferrin to human ceruloplasmin. Upon probing the human ceruloplasmin library with human lactoferrin, three predominantly acidic lactoferrin-binding peptides, located in domains 2, 5 and 6 of human ceruloplasmin, were identified. The docking software identified a complex such that the N-lobe of human apo-lactoferrin interacts with the catalytic ferroxidase centre on human ceruloplasmin. In vitro binding studies and molecular modelling indicate that lactoferrin can bind to ceruloplasmin such that a direct transfer of ferric iron between the two proteins is possible. A direct transfer of ferric iron from ceruloplasmin to lactoferrin would prevent both the formation of potentially toxic hydroxyl radicals and the utilization of iron by pathogenic bacteria. BACKGROUND METHODS RESULTS GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE