Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 128  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 533-544

Iron transport & homeostasis mechanisms : their role in health & disease.


1 Division of Extramural Research & Training, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 USA
2 Department of Biosciences, Sri Sathya Sai University, Prasanthi Nilayam, AP, India
3 National Center for Environmental Assessment, US EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA

Correspondence Address:
S S Nadadur
Division of Extramural Research & Training, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 USA

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 19106445

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Iron is an essential trace metal required by all living organisms and is toxic in excess. Nature has evolved a delicately balanced network to monitor iron entry, transport it to sites of need, and serve as a unique storage and recycling system, in the absence of an excretory system, to remove excess iron. Due to the unique nature of iron metabolism, iron homeostasis is achieved by integrated specialized mechanisms that operate at the cellular and organism level. The use of positional cloning approaches by multiple researchers has led to the identification and characterization of various proteins and peptides that play a critical role in iron metabolism. These efforts have led to elucidation of the molecular mechanisms involved in the uptake of iron by the enterocytes, transportation across the membrane to circulation, and delivery to diverse tissues for use and storage and sensor system to co-ordinate and achieve homeostasis. Molecular understanding of these processes and the key regulatory molecules involved in maintaining homeostasis will provide novel insights into understanding human disorders associated with either iron deficiency or overload.


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