Iron Transport and Storage

by Kevin Ahern, PhD

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    Now iron is very important for many things. And with respect to heme, of course it's central, no pun intended, with respect to making the heme function. It is therefore important that we understand the movement and storage of iron in the human body. Iron is a limiting micro-nutrient. That's true whether it's in our body. That's true whether you're a bacterium floating around in the ocean. That's true for almost any organism. It's needed for the synthesis of heme for a variety of enzymes for electron transport and also for oxygen transport. Iron is problematic because it can gain and lose electrons depending upon its oxidative state. That means it can participate in the formation of reactive oxygen species or reactive nitrogen species, and those as we've seen in other lectures are very, very detrimental to the body. Iron is therefore very reactive and toxic to cells if it's not managed properly. Iron, as I said, can create radicals and these occur via the Fenton reaction as shown in the screen here. This involves the reaction to produce the hydroxyl radical on the right side of the equation. The uptake of iron into the body is very tightly controlled. And the reason for this is because there is no good regulated means of excretion of iron once it has gotten there. A disease called "hemochromatosis" occurs with the unregulated uptake of iron. The person's body is taking up too much iron. And interestingly this disease has a genetic cause and that genetic cause is still present among the population today. It's very common among the Irish and the Norwegians. And the iron that comes in can cause severe problems for the people who have it. About .06% of the population has this primary cause of the disease. They have...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Iron Transport and Storage by Kevin Ahern, PhD is from the course Amino Acid Metabolism.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. None of the answers are true.
    2. ...can help to break down free radicals using the Fenton reaction.
    3. ...is needed in large amounts in the body.
    4. ...can react with water to form peroxyl radical.
    5. All of the answers are correct.
    1. All of the answers are true.
    2. They help to keep iron stable and prevent cellular damage.
    3. They include enzymes, storage proteins, and electron transport proteins.
    4. They include ferritin, transferrin, and lactoferrin.
    5. None of the answers are true.
    1. It transfers its iron to intracellular ferritin.
    2. It has the capacity to carry hundreds of iron atoms.
    3. It is slow in turning of its iron.
    4. All of the answers are true.
    5. None of the answers are true.
    1. It is present in low amounts in anemia.
    2. It stores two atoms of ferrous iron per complex.
    3. It stores iron in the ferrous state.
    4. All of the answers are true.
    5. None of the answers are true.
    1. It is a glycoprotein.
    2. It is a cytoplasmic protein.
    3. It is expressed in decreased amounts when cellular iron levels are low.
    4. All of the answers are true.
    5. None of the answers are true.

    Author of lecture Iron Transport and Storage

     Kevin Ahern, PhD

    Kevin Ahern, PhD

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