Mechanism and Control of Iron Uptake by Erythroid and Non-Erythroid Cells

  • P. Ponka
  • H. M. Schulman
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 7)


Iron is required by all eukaryotic cells for growth and survival. For most cells, with the possible exception of reticuloendothelial cells, transferrin is the only physiological iron donor. Iron uptake involves the binding of iron-transferrin to specific cell surface receptors and internalization of the transferrin receptor complex in acidic endosomes where iron is released. The transferrin: receptor complex is then recycled to the cell surface where apotransferrin is released (1). Transferrin receptors are highly expressed on immature erythroid cells which require large amounts of iron for the formation of hemoglobin (2). They are also highly expressed on proliferating cells such as neoplastic cells, mitogen-stimulated lymphocytes and many established cell lines (3).


Iron Uptake Transferrin Receptor Erythroid Cell Established Cell Line Heme Synthesis 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Ponka
    • 1
  • H. M. Schulman
    • 1
  1. 1.Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research and Departments of Physiology and MedicineMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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