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Liver Int. 2011 Nov;31(10):1593-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-3231.2011.02620.x. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

A novel Y231del mutation of HFE in hereditary haemochromatosis provides in vivo evidence that the Huh-7 is a human haemochromatotic cell line.

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Saiseikai Takaoka Hospital, Takaoka, Japan.


Hereditary haemochromatosis (HH), which is mainly associated with a C282Y polymorphism in HFE, is common among Caucasians of north European descent, but is very rare among Asians. Herein, we report a 43-year-old Japanese man who was diagnosed as having HH. A laboratory examination revealed an elevated serum iron level (280 μg/dl), hyperferritinemia (1698 ng/ml) and a low serum level of hepcidin-25 (4.0 ng/ml). Abdominal magnetic resonance imaging revealed findings suggestive of iron accumulation in the liver and pancreas. HFE gene sequencing in the patient revealed a novel homozygous TAC nucleotide deletion (c. 691_693del) responsible for the loss of a tyrosine at position 231 (p. Y231del) of the HFE protein. This homozygous Y231del mutation was recently found in the Huh-7 hepatoma cell line and was shown to prevent the translocation of HFE to the cell surface. This clinical case provides in vivo evidence suggesting that Huh-7 is undoubtedly a human haemochromatotic cell line and, as such, is a valuable tool for investigating the pathogenesis of HFE-related HH in humans.

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