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J Biol Chem. 2003 Oct 10;278(41):40337-42. Epub 2003 Jul 29.

Oxygen and iron regulation of iron regulatory protein 2.

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  • 1Eccles Program in Human Molecular Biology and Genetics and the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA.


Iron regulatory protein 2 (IRP2) is a central regulator of cellular iron homeostasis due to its regulation of specific mRNAs encoding proteins of iron uptake and storage. Iron regulates IRP2 by mediating its rapid proteasomal degradation, where hypoxia and the hypoxia mimetics CoCl2 and desferrioxamine (DFO) stabilize it. Previous studies showed that iron-mediated degradation of IRP2 requires the presence of critical cysteines that reside within a 73-amino acid unique region. Here we show that a mutant IRP2 protein lacking this 73-amino acid region degraded at a rate similar to that of wild-type IRP2. In addition, DFO and hypoxia blocked the degradation of both the wild-type and mutant IRP2 proteins. Recently, members of the 2-oxoglutarate (2-OG)-dependent dioxygenase family have been shown to hydroxylate hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1 alpha), a modification required for its ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. Since 2-OG-dependent dioxygenases require iron and oxygen, in addition to 2-OG, for substrate hydroxylation, we hypothesized that this activity may be involved in the regulation of IRP2 stability. To test this we used the 2-OG-dependent dioxygenase inhibitor dimethyloxalylglycine (DMOG) and showed that it blocked iron-mediated IRP2 degradation. In addition, hypoxia, DFO and DMOG blocked IRP2 ubiquitination. These data indicate that the region of IRP2 that is involved in IRP2 iron-mediated degradation lies outside of the 73-amino acid unique region and suggest a model whereby 2-OG-dependent dioxygenase activity may be involved in the oxygen and iron regulation of IRP2 protein stability.

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