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Date:8/4/2010

and secure mitochondrial iron sufficiency" Hentze concludes.

This mechanism for regulating iron balance could be particularly important in cells with very high mitochondrial iron needs, such as red blood cell precursors that manufacture copious amounts of haem for oxygen transport. However, this may well be a double-edged sword. Indeed, there are situations in which mitochondria get iron but are not able to make use of it. The cell interprets this as a sign of mitochondrial iron insufficiency and responds by activating IRPs, which ultimately results in detrimental iron overloading of mitochondria. This may underlie the pathology of several diseases including inherited sideroblastic anaemias in which cells are unable to incorporate iron into haemoglobin or the neurodegenerative disorder Friedreich's ataxia, which the EMBL scientists are currently investigating.


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Contact: Lena Raditsch
lena.raditsch@embl.de
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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