Iron Transport Proteins: Gateways of Cellular and Systemic Iron Homeostasis [Cell Biology]

June 16th, 2017 by Mitchell D. Knutson

Cellular iron homeostasis is maintained by iron and heme transport proteins that work in concert with ferrireductases, ferroxidases, and chaperones to direct the movement of iron into, within, and out of cells. Systemic iron homeostasis is regulated by the liver-derived peptide hormone, hepcidin. The interface between cellular and systemic iron homeostasis is readily observed in the highly dynamic iron handling of four main cell types: duodenal enterocytes, erythrocyte precursors, macrophages, and hepatocytes. This review provides an overview of how these cell types handle iron, highlighting how iron and heme transporters mediate the exchange and distribution of body iron in health and disease.