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Heme carrier protein 1 transports heme and is involved in heme-Fe metabolism

, : Heme carrier protein 1 transports heme and is involved in heme-Fe metabolism. American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology 302(12): C1780-5

Heme-Fe is an important source of dietary iron in humans; however, the mechanism for heme-Fe uptake by enterocytes is poorly understood. Heme carrier protein 1 (HCP1) was originally identified as mediating heme-Fe transport although it later emerged that it was a folate transporter. We asked what happened to heme-Fe and folate uptake and the relative abundance of hcp1 and ho1 mRNA in Caco-2 cells after knockdown by transfection with HCP1-directed short hairpin (sh)RNA. Control Caco-2 cells were cultured in bicameral chambers with –8 μM heme-Fe for selected times. Intracellular Fe and heme concentration increased in Caco-2 cells reflecting higher external heme-Fe concentrations. Maximum Fe, heme, and heme oxygenase 1 (HO1) expression and activity were observed between 12 and 24 h of incubation. Quantitative RT-PCR for hcp1 revealed that its mRNA decreased at 2 μM heme-Fe while ho1 mRNA and activity increased. When shRNA knocked down hcp1 mRNA, heme-55Fe uptake and [3H]folate transport mirrored the mRNA decrease, ho1 mRNA increased, and flvcr mRNA was unchanged. These data argue that HCP1 is involved in low-affinity heme-Fe uptake not just in folate transport.


PMID: 22496243

DOI: 10.1152/ajpcell.00080.2012

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