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Iran J Public Health. 2012;41(1):79-86. Epub 2012 Jan 31.

Cloning, Expression and Characterization of Zebra Fish Ferroportin in Hek 293T Cell Line.

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  • 1Dept. of Marine Biology, Sciences & Research Branch, Islamic Azad university, Hesarak, Tehran, Iran.



Ferroportin (Fpn), a regulator of iron homeostasis is a conserved membrane protein that exports iron across the enterocytes, macrophages and hepatocytes into the blood circulation. Fpn has also critical influence on survival of microorganisms whose growth is dependent upon iron, thus preparation of Fpn is needed to study the role of iron in immunity and pathogenesis of micoorganisms.


To prepare and characterize a recombinant ferroportin, total RNA was extracted from Indian zebrafish duodenum, and used to synthesize cDNA by RT-PCR. PCR product was first cloned in Topo TA vector and then subcloned into the GFP expression vector pEGFP-N1. The final resulted plasmid (pEGFP-ZFpn) was used for expression of Fpn-EGFP protein in Hek 293T cells.


The expression was confirmed by appearance of fluorescence in Hek 293 T cells. Recombinant Fpn was further characterized by submission of its predicted amino acid sequences to the TMHMM V2.0 prediction server (hidden Markov model), NetOGlyc 3.1 and NetNGlyc 3.1 servers. The obtained Fpn from indian zebrafish also contained eight transmembrane domains with N- and C-termini inside the cytoplasm and harboured 78 O-glycosylated amino acids.


The recombinant Fpn from Indian zebra fish was successfully expressed in Hek 293 cell line. Although the discrepancy in two amino acids was observed in our produced Fpn and resulted in an additional O-glycosylation site, but had no effect on the topology of the protein compared to other Fpn described by other researchers. Therefore this construct can be used in future iron studies.


Cloning; Expression; Ferroportin; Iron homeostasis; Topology

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