Iron is an essential element for metabolic processes intrinsic to life, and yet the properties that make iron a necessity also make it potentially deleterious. To avoid harm, iron homeostasis is achieved through iron transport, storage and regulatory proteins. The functions of some of these molecules are well described, for example transferrin and transferrin receptor-1, whereas the roles of others, such as the transferrin homolog melanotransferrin, remain unclear. The past decade has seen the identification of new molecules involved in iron metabolism, such as divalent metal transporter-1, ferroportin-1, hepcidin, hemojuvelin and heme carrier protein-1. Here, we focus on these intriguing new molecules and the insights gained from them into cellular iron uptake and the regulation of iron metabolism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology