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De Falco L.,CEINGE | Sanchez M.,Institute of Predictive and Personalized Medicine of Cancer IMPPC | Sanchez M.,Institute Dinvestigacio En Ciencies Of La Salut Germans Trias I Pujol Igtp | Silvestri L.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | And 12 more authors.
Haematologica | Year: 2013

Iron refractory iron deficiency anemia is a hereditary recessive anemia due to a defect in the TMPRSS6 gene encoding Matriptase-2. This protein is a transmembrane serine protease that plays an essential role in down-regulating hepcidin, the key regulator of iron homeostasis. Hallmarks of this disease are microcytic hypochromic anemia, low transferrin saturation and normal/high serum hepcidin values. The anemia appears in the post-natal period, although in some cases it is only diagnosed in adulthood. The disease is refractory to oral iron treatment but shows a slow response to intravenous iron injections and partial correction of the anemia. To date, 40 different Matriptase-2 mutations have been reported, affecting all the functional domains of the large ectodomain of the protein. In vitro experiments on transfected cells suggest that Matriptase-2 cleaves Hemojuvelin, a major regulator of hepcidin expression and that this function is altered in this genetic form of anemia. In contrast to the low/undetectable hepcidin levels observed in acquired iron deficiency, in patients with Matriptase-2 deficiency, serum hepcidin is inappropriately high for the low iron status and accounts for the absent/delayed response to oral iron treatment. A challenge for the clinicians and pediatricians is the recognition of the disorder among iron deficiency and other microcytic anemias commonly found in pediatric patients. The current treatment of iron refractory iron deficiency anemia is based on parenteral iron administration; in the future, manipulation of the hepcidin pathway with the aim of suppressing it might become an alternative therapeutic approach. © 2013 Ferrata Storti Foundation. Source

Chiapparino A.,Structural and Computational Biology Unit | Maeda K.,Structural and Computational Biology Unit | Maeda K.,Danish Cancer Society | Turei D.,Structural and Computational Biology Unit | And 5 more authors.
Progress in Lipid Research | Year: 2016

Within the eukaryotic cell, more than 1000 species of lipids define a series of membranes essential for cell function. Tightly controlled systems of lipid transport underlie the proper spatiotemporal distribution of membrane lipids, the coordination of spatially separated lipid metabolic pathways, and lipid signaling mediated by soluble proteins that may be localized some distance away from membranes. Alongside the well-established vesicular transport of lipids, non-vesicular transport mediated by a group of proteins referred to as lipid-transfer proteins (LTPs) is emerging as a key mechanism of lipid transport in a broad range of biological processes. More than a hundred LTPs exist in humans and these can be divided into at least ten protein families. LTPs are widely distributed in tissues, organelles and membrane contact sites (MCSs), as well as in the extracellular space. They all possess a soluble and globular domain that encapsulates a lipid monomer and they specifically bind and transport a wide range of lipids. Here, we present the most recent discoveries in the functions and physiological roles of LTPs, which have expanded the playground of lipids into the aqueous spaces of cells. © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Source

Steinbicker A.U.,University of Munster | Muckenthaler M.U.,University of Heidelberg | Muckenthaler M.U.,Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit MMPU
Nutrients | Year: 2013

Iron is an essential element in our daily diet. Most iron is required for the de novo synthesis of red blood cells, where it plays a critical role in oxygen binding to hemoglobin. Thus, iron deficiency causes anemia, a major public health burden worldwide. On the other extreme, iron accumulation in critical organs such as liver, heart, and pancreas causes organ dysfunction due to the generation of oxidative stress. Therefore, systemic iron levels must be tightly balanced. Here we focus on the regulatory role of the hepcidin/ferroportin circuitry as the major regulator of systemic iron homeostasis. We discuss how regulatory cues (e.g., iron, inflammation, or hypoxia) affect the hepcidin response and how impairment of the hepcidin/ferroportin regulatory system causes disorders of iron metabolism. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source

Yang G.,Mouse Biology Unit | Yang G.,Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit MMPU | De Castro Reis F.,Mouse Biology Unit | Sundukova M.,Mouse Biology Unit | And 9 more authors.
Nature Methods | Year: 2015

Fluorescent protein reporters have become the mainstay for tracing cellular circuitry in vivo but are limited in their versatility. Here we generated Cre-dependent reporter mice expressing the Snap-tag to target synthetic indicators to cells. Snap-tag labeling worked efficiently and selectively in vivo, allowing for both the manipulation of behavior and monitoring of cellular fluorescence from the same reporter. Source

Altamura S.,University of Heidelberg | Altamura S.,Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit MMPU | D'Alessio F.,University of Heidelberg | D'Alessio F.,Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit MMPU | And 4 more authors.
Biochemical Journal | Year: 2010

IRIDA (iron-refractory iron-deficiency anaemia) is a rare autosomal-recessive disorder hallmarked by hypochromic microcytic anaemia, low transferrin saturation and high levels of the iron-regulated hormone hepcidin. The disease is caused by mutations in the transmembrane serine protease TMPRSS6 (transmembrane protease serine 6) that prevent inactivation of HJV (haemojuvelin), an activator of hepcidin transcription. In the present paper, we describe a patient with IRIDA who carries a novel mutation (Y141C) in the SEA domain of the TMPRSS6 gene. Functional characterization of the TMPRSS6(Y141C) mutant protein in cultured cells showed that it localizes to similar subcellular compartments as wild-type TMPRSS6 and binds HJV, but fails to auto-catalytically activate itself. As a consequence, hepcidin mRNA expression is increased, causing the clinical symptoms observed in this IRIDA patient. The present study provides important mechanistic insight into how TMPRSS6 is activated. © 2010 The Author(s). Source

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