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Science. 2001 Mar 2;291(5509):1755-9. Epub 2001 Feb 1.

An iron-regulated ferric reductase associated with the absorption of dietary iron.

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Department of Molecular Medicine, Guy's, King's and St. Thomas' School of Medicine, King's College London, Rayne Institute, Denmark Hill Campus, 123 Coldharbour Lane, London SE5 9NU, UK.


The ability of intestinal mucosa to absorb dietary ferric iron is attributed to the presence of a brush-border membrane reductase activity that displays adaptive responses to iron status. We have isolated a complementary DNA, Dcytb (for duodenal cytochrome b), which encoded a putative plasma membrane di-heme protein in mouse duodenal mucosa. Dcytb shared between 45 and 50% similarity to the cytochrome b561 family of plasma membrane reductases, was highly expressed in the brush-border membrane of duodenal enterocytes, and induced ferric reductase activity when expressed in Xenopus oocytes and cultured cells. Duodenal expression levels of Dcytb messenger RNA and protein were regulated by changes in physiological modulators of iron absorption. Thus, Dcytb provides an important element in the iron absorption pathway.

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