JOURNAL ARTICLE

Iron-dependent regulation of the divalent metal ion transporter

H Gunshin, C R Allerson, M Polycarpou-Schwarz, A Rofts, J T Rogers, F Kishi, M W Hentze, T A Rouault, N C Andrews, M A Hediger
FEBS Letters 2001 December 7, 509 (2): 309-16
11741608
The first step in intestinal iron absorption is mediated by the H(+)-coupled Fe(2+) transporter called divalent cation transporter 1/divalent metal ion transporter 1 (DCT1/DMT1) (also known as natural resistance-associated macrophage protein 2). DCT1/DMT1 mRNA levels in the duodenum strongly increase in response to iron depletion. To study the mechanism of iron-dependent DCT1/DMT1 mRNA regulation, we investigated the endogenous expression of DCT1/DMT1 mRNA in various cell types. We found that only the iron responsive element (IRE)-containing form, which corresponds to one of two splice forms of DCT1/DMT1, is responsive to iron treatment and this responsiveness was cell type specific. We also examined the interaction of the putative 3'-UTR IRE with iron responsive binding proteins (IRP1 and IRP2), and found that IRP1 binds to the DCT1/DMT1-IRE with higher affinity compared to IRP2. This differential binding of IRP1 and IRP2 was also reported for the IREs of transferrin receptors, erythroid 5-aminolevulinate synthase and mitochondrial aconitase. We propose that regulation of DCT1/DMT1 mRNA by iron involves post-transcriptional regulation through the binding of IRP1 to the transporter's IRE, as well as other as yet unknown factors.

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