Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers discover hormone that controls supply of iron in red blood cell production

02.06.2014

Findings could lead to treatments for blood disorders associated with both iron deficiencies and overloads

A UCLA research team has discovered a new hormone called erythroferrone, which regulates the iron supply needed for red blood-cell production.

Erythroblasts

This is a microscopic image of erythroblasts, which are the bone marrow cells that secrete erythroferrone.

Credit: Leon Kautz/UCLA

Iron is an essential functional component of hemoglobin, the molecule that transports oxygen throughout the body. Using a mouse model, researchers found that erythroferrone is made by red blood-cell progenitors in the bone marrow in order to match iron supply with the demands of red blood-cell production. Erythroferrone is greatly increased when red blood-cell production is stimulated, such as after bleeding or in response to anemia.

The erythroferrone hormone acts by regulating the main iron hormone, hepcidin, which controls the absorption of iron from food and the distribution of iron in the body. Increased erythroferrone suppresses hepcidin and allows more iron to be made available for red blood-cell production.

"If there is too little iron, it causes anemia. If there is too much iron, the iron overload accumulates in the liver and organs, where it is toxic and causes damage," said senior author Dr. Tomas Ganz, a professor of medicine and pathology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "Modulating the activity of erythroferrone could be a viable strategy for the treatment of iron disorders of both overabundance and scarcity."

The early findings were reported online June 1 in the journal Nature Genetics.

"Our previous work anticipated that a regulator of hepcidin could be secreted by the bone marrow," said the study's first author, Leon Kautz, a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA. "In this research, we searched for new substances that were made in bone marrow that could fill that role."

Researchers first focused on what happens in the bone marrow after hemorrhage. From there, they focused on a specific protein that was secreted into the blood. This protein attracted their attention because it belonged to a family of proteins involved in cell-to-cell communication.

Using recombinant DNA technology, they showed that the hormone suppressed the production of hepcidin and demonstrated the effect it had on iron metabolism.

The team foresees that the discovery could help people with a common congenital blood disorder called Cooley's anemia, also known as thalassemia, which causes excessive destruction of red blood cells and of their progenitors in the bone marrow. Many of these patients require regular blood transfusions throughout their lives. Most iron overload is attributed to the iron content of transfused blood. However, even patients who are rarely, or never, transfused can also develop iron overload.

"Overproduction of erythroferrone may be a major cause of iron overload in untransfused patients and may contribute to iron overload in transfused patients," said study author Elizabeta Nemeth, a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and co-director of the UCLA Center for Iron Disorders. "The identification of erythroferrone can potentially allow researchers and drug developers to target the hormone for specific treatment to prevent iron overload in Cooley's anemia."

The discovery could also lead to treatments for other common anemia-related conditions associated with chronic kidney disease, rheumatologic disorders and other inflammatory diseases. In these conditions, iron is "locked up" by the effect of the hormone hepcidin, whose levels are increased by inflammation. Erythroferrone, or drugs acting like it, could suppress hepcidin and make more iron available for red blood-cell production.

The next stage of research is to understand the role of the new hormone in various blood diseases and study the molecular mechanisms through which erythroferrone regulates hepcidin.

###

Additional study authors included Grace Jung and Erika Valore of UCLA and Stefano Rivella of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York.

The study was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

The Board of Regents of the University of California is the owner of patent applications and uses directed at erythroferrone, which are managed by UCLA's Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research. This intellectual property is the subject of license negotiations with a company for which authors Ganz and Nemeth are scientific advisors and equity holders. Other disclosures are available in the manuscript.

Amy Albin | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: UCLA blood conditions controls discover disorders effect hormone specific

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht MACC1 Gene Is an Independent Prognostic Biomarker for Survival in Klatskin Tumor Patients
31.08.2015 | Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

nachricht Fish Oil-Diet Benefits May be Mediated by Gut Microbes
28.08.2015 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Increasingly severe disturbances weaken world's temperate forests

Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.

"While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease...

Im Focus: OU astrophysicist and collaborators find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth

A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...

Im Focus: What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...

Im Focus: Self-healing landscape: landslides after earthquake

In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.

These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...

Im Focus: FIC Proteins Send Bacteria Into Hibernation

Bacteria do not cease to amaze us with their survival strategies. A research team from the University of Basel's Biozentrum has now discovered how bacteria enter a sleep mode using a so-called FIC toxin. In the current issue of “Cell Reports”, the scientists describe the mechanism of action and also explain why their discovery provides new insights into the evolution of pathogens.

For many poisons there are antidotes which neutralize their toxic effect. Toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria work in a similar manner: As long as a cell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking conference in Heidelberg for outstanding mathematicians and computer scientists

20.08.2015 | Event News

Scientists meet in Münster for the world’s largest Chitin und Chitosan Conference

20.08.2015 | Event News

Large agribusiness management strategies

19.08.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Production research by Fraunhofer IAO honored with three awards at the ICPR 2015

31.08.2015 | Awards Funding

Single-Crystal Phosphors Suitable for Ultra-Bright, High-Power White Light Sources

31.08.2015 | Materials Sciences

Manchester Team Reveal New, Stable 2D Materials

31.08.2015 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>