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Biochem J. 1978 Sep 1;173(3):969-77.

Properties of human tissue isoferritins.


1. Human liver ferritin was separated by preparative isoelectric focusing into six fractions. 2. Except for the least acidic fraction the reactivity with antibody against spleen ferritin increased with rising pI, but with antibody against heart ferritin the reactivity decreased. 3. The highest iron content was found in the most acidic isoferritins and progressively decreased with rising pI. 4. Iron uptake was studied in apoferritin prepared from heart and liver ferritin fractions separated by ion-exchange chromatography. There was good correlation between the rate of iron uptake and pI. The most acidic fractions took up iron more rapidly than did the more basic ones. 5. Ferritin was prepared from heart, liver, spleen and kidney. There was little difference on isoelectric focusing between ferritin obtained from normal tissues and the corresponding iron-loaded tissues from patients who had received multiple blood transfusions. The iron-loaked heart ferritin invariably contained relatively more of the basic isoferritins. Normal and iron-overloaded heart ferritins were separated into isoferritin fractions by ion-exchange chromatography, and in each case there was a fall in iron content as the pI increased. The iron content of ferritin from the iron-overloaded heart was higher throughout than that from normal heart. 6. There is a relationship between the rate of iron uptake by apoferritin and pI, and this probably accounts for the variation in iron content of the isoferritins found in human liver and heart.

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