Role of Ceruloplasmin in Cellular Iron Uptake

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Science  30 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5351, pp. 714-717
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5351.714

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Individuals with hereditary ceruloplasmin (Cp) deficiency have profound iron accumulation in most tissues, which suggests that Cp is important for normal release of cellular iron. Here, in contrast to expectations, Cp was shown to increase iron uptake by HepG2 cells, increasing the apparent affinity for the substrate by three times. Consistent with its role in iron uptake, Cp synthesis was regulated by iron supply and was increased four- to fivefold after iron depletion. Unlike other iron controllers that are posttranscriptionally regulated, Cp synthesis was transcriptionally regulated. Thus, iron-deficient cells could increase Cp synthesis to maintain intracellular iron homeostasis, so that defects would lead to global accumulation of iron in tissues.

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