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Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2004 Jan-Feb;32(1):131-8.

The ferroportin disease.

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Center for Hemochromatosis, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena 41100, Italy.


A new inherited disorder of iron metabolism, hereafter called "the ferroportin disease," is increasingly recognized worldwide. The disorder is due to pathogenic mutations in the SLC40A1 gene encoding for a main iron export protein in mammals, ferroportin1/IREG1/MTP1, and it was originally identified as an autosomal-dominant form of iron overload not linked to the hemochromatosis (HFE) gene. It has distinctive clinical features such as early increase in serum ferritin in spite of low-normal transferrin saturation, progressive iron accumulation in organs, predominantly in reticuloendothelial macrophages, marginal anemia with low tolerance to phlebotomy. Ferroportin mutations have been reported in many countries regardless of ethnicity. They may lead to a loss of protein function responsible for reduced iron export from cells, particularly reticuloendothelial cells. Now, the disorder appears to be the most common cause of hereditary iron overload beyond HFE hemochromatosis.

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