Iron transfer and storage proteins

Kuhanec, Antonija (2013) Iron transfer and storage proteins. Bachelor's thesis, Faculty of Science > Department of Biology.

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Iron is an important element for fundamental metabolic processes. Considering the fact that it is essential for a range of functions, it has to be stored in a non-toxic and accessible form. This is achieved by packing iron into protein shells called ferritins. Ferritins are symmetric proteins consisting of iron oxide-hydroxide core and a protein shell. Iron is tranferred from mononuclear phagocyte system (erythrocyte recycling) and duodenum (absorption by digestive system) to the entire organism by transferrin. Transferrin has extremely high affinity for free iron and is taken up by receptor-mediated endocytosis into endosomes. There it releases iron in the low pH environment. Intracellular iron regulation mechanism is precisely controlled at translation level. When the cell is depleted of iron, cytosolic aconitase loses its Fe-S cluster. Apoenzyme so formed has the ability to bind to mRNAs for transferrin receptor and ferritin, thus reducing ferritin synthesis and increasing transferrin receptor synthesis. With increase of transferrin receptor number on the cell surface, more iron is taken up by the cell. Cells with greater need for iron have more transferrin receptors on their surface. Another example of an iron storage protein is hemosiderin. It is often an indicator of excess iron in the body. Other important iron containing proteins are hemeproteins and iron-sulfur proteins. Heme iron has a function of reversible oxygen binding and electron transport. Hemoglobin contains over 60% of total body iron. Hemeproteins, together with Fe-S proteins, have an important role in cellular respiration as electron carriers. In conclusion, iron is an element with a variety of functions and is therefore essential for all living organisms on Earth.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's thesis)
Supervisor: Weygand-Đurašević, Ivana
Date: 2013
Number of Pages: 12
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Biology
Depositing User: Silvana Šehić
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2014 11:16
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2014 11:16

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