Recent advances in mammalian haem transport

G O Latunde-Dada, R J Simpson, A T McKie

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Haem is a structural component of numerous cellular proteins and contributes greatly to iron metabolic processes in mammals. Haem-carrier protein 1 (HCP1) has recently been cloned and characterized as a putative transporter in the apical region of the duodenum, and is responsible for uptake of haem into the gut cells. Its expression is regulated pre- and post-translationally in hypoxic and iron-deficient mice, respectively. The identification of HCP1 has revealed the long-sought mechanism by which haem - an important source of dietary iron - is absorbed from the diet by the gut. Feline leukaemic virus receptor (FLCVR) and ABC transporter ABCG2, characterized in haematopoietic cells, have also recently been shown to export haem, particularly under stress. FLVCR protects developing erythroid cells from haem toxicity during the early stages of differentiation, and ABCG2 averts protoporphyrin accumulation (particularly under hypoxic conditions). These haem-efflux proteins are expressed in other cells and tissues including the intestine where they might function as apical haem exporters to prevent toxicity in the enterocytes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182 - 188
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


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