Send to

Choose Destination
Biochemistry. 1991 Jan 15;30(2):324-8.

A new role for the transferrin receptor in the release of iron from transferrin.

Author information

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461.


Iron removal by pyrophosphate from human serum diferric transferrin and the complex of transferrin with its receptor was studied in 0.05 M HEPES or MES buffers containing 0.1 M NaCl and 0.01 M CHAPS at 25 degrees C at pH 7.4, 6.4, and 5.6. At each pH, the concentration of pyrophosphate was adjusted to achieve rates of release amenable to study over a reasonable time course. Released iron was separated from protein-bound iron by poly(ethylene glycol) precipitation of aliquots drawn from the reaction mixture at various times during the course of a kinetic run. The amount of 59Fe label associated with the protein and pyrophosphate was determined from the radioactivity of precipitate and supernatant, respectively, in each aliquot. Iron removal of 0.05 M pyrophosphate at pH 7.4 from diferric transferrin bound to the receptor is considerably slower than that from free diferric transferrin, with observed pseudo-first-order rate constants of 0.020 and 0.191 min-1, respectively. For iron removal by 0.01 M pyrophosphate at pH 6.4, corresponding rate constants are 0.031 and 0.644 min-1. However, at pH 5.6, iron removal by 0.001 M pyrophosphate is faster from diferric transferrin bound to its receptor than from free transferrin (observed rate constants of 0.819 and 0.160 min-1, respectively). Thus, the transferrin receptor not only facilitates the removal of iron from diferric transferrin at the low pH that prevails in endocytic vesicles but may also reduce its accessibility to iron acceptors at extracellular pH, thereby minimizing the likelihood of nonspecific release of iron from transferrin at the cell surface.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center