Isolation and thermal stabilization of mouse ferroportin.
ABSTRACT: Ferroportin (Fpn) is an essential mammalian iron transporter that is negatively regulated by the hormone hepcidin. Our current molecular understanding of Fpn-mediated iron efflux and regulation is limited due to a lack of biochemical, biophysical and high-resolution structural studies. A critical step towards understanding the transport mechanism of Fpn is to obtain sufficient quantities of pure and stable protein for downstream studies. As such, we detail here an expression and purification protocol for mouse Fpn yielding milligram quantities of pure protein. We have generated deletion constructs exhibiting enhanced thermal stability and which retained iron-transport activity and hepcidin responsiveness, providing a platform for further biophysical studies of Fpn.
Project description:Nonclassical ferroportin disease (FD) is a form of hereditary hemochromatosis caused by mutations in the iron transporter ferroportin (Fpn), resulting in parenchymal iron overload. Fpn is regulated by the hormone hepcidin, which induces Fpn endocytosis and cellular iron retention. We characterized 11 clinically relevant and 5 nonclinical Fpn mutations using stably transfected, inducible isogenic cell lines. All clinical mutants were functionally resistant to hepcidin as a consequence of either impaired hepcidin binding or impaired hepcidin-dependent ubiquitination despite intact hepcidin binding. Mapping the residues onto 2 computational models of the human Fpn structure indicated that (1) mutations that caused ubiquitination-resistance were positioned at helix-helix interfaces, likely preventing the hepcidin-induced conformational change, (2) hepcidin binding occurred within the central cavity of Fpn, (3) hepcidin interacted with up to 4 helices, and (4) hepcidin binding should occlude Fpn and interfere with iron export independently of endocytosis. We experimentally confirmed hepcidin-mediated occlusion of Fpn in the absence of endocytosis in multiple cellular systems: HEK293 cells expressing an endocytosis-defective Fpn mutant (K8R), Xenopus oocytes expressing wild-type or K8R Fpn, and mature human red blood cells. We conclude that nonclassical FD is caused by Fpn mutations that decrease hepcidin binding or hinder conformational changes required for ubiquitination and endocytosis of Fpn. The newly documented ability of hepcidin and its agonists to occlude iron transport may facilitate the development of broadly effective treatments for hereditary iron overload disorders.
Project description:The iron exporter ferroportin (Fpn) is essential to transfer iron from cells to plasma. Systemic iron homeostasis in vertebrates is regulated by the hepcidin-mediated internalization of Fpn. Here, we demonstrate a second route for Fpn internalization; when cytosolic iron levels are low, Fpn is internalized in a hepcidin-independent manner dependent upon the E3 ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-2 and the Nedd4-2 binding protein Nfdip-1. Retention of cell-surface Fpn through reductions in Nedd4-2 results in cell death through depletion of cytosolic iron. Nedd4-2 is also required for internalization of Fpn in the absence of ferroxidase activity as well as for the entry of hepcidin-induced Fpn into the multivesicular body. C. elegans lacks hepcidin genes, and C. elegans Fpn expressed in mammalian cells is not internalized by hepcidin but is internalized in response to iron deprivation in a Nedd4-2-dependent manner, supporting the hypothesis that Nedd4-2-induced internalization of Fpn is evolutionarily conserved.
Project description:Macrophages release iron into the bloodstream via a membrane-bound iron export protein, ferroportin (FPN). The hepatic iron-regulatory hormone hepcidin controls FPN internalization and degradation in response to bacterial infection. Salmonella typhimurium can invade macrophages and proliferate in the Salmonella-containing vacuole (SCV). Hepcidin is reported to increase the mortality of Salmonella-infected animals by increasing the bacterial load in macrophages. Here we assess the iron levels and find that hepcidin increases iron content in the cytosol but decreases it in the SCV through FPN on the SCV membrane. Loss-of-FPN from the SCV via the action of hepcidin impairs the generation of bactericidal reactive oxygen species (ROS) as the iron content decreases. We conclude that FPN is required to provide sufficient iron to the SCV, where iron serves as a cofactor for the generation of antimicrobial ROS rather than as a nutrient for Salmonella.
Project description:The transmembrane protein ferroportin (Fpn) is essential for iron efflux from the liver, spleen, and duodenum. Fpn is regulated predominantly by the circulating iron regulatory hormone hepcidin, which binds to cell surface Fpn, initiating its degradation. Accordingly, when hepcidin concentrations decrease, Fpn levels increase. A previous study found that Fpn levels were not elevated in copper-deficient (CuD) mice that had anemia, a condition normally associated with dramatic reductions in hepcidin. Lack of change in Fpn levels may be because CuD mice do not display reduced concentrations of plasma iron (holotransferrin), a modulator of hepcidin expression. Here, we examined Fpn protein levels and hepcidin expression in CuD rats, which exhibit reduced plasma iron concentrations along with anemia. We also examined hepcidin expression in anemic CuD mice with normal plasma iron levels. We found that CuD rats had higher liver and spleen Fpn levels and markedly lower hepatic hepcidin mRNA expression than did copper-adequate (CuA) rats. In contrast, hepcidin levels did not differ between CuD and CuA mice. To examine potential mediators of the reduced hepcidin expression in CuD rats, we measured levels of hepatic transferrin receptor 2 (TfR2), a putative iron sensor that links holotransferrin to hepcidin production, and transcript abundance of bone morphogenic protein 6 (BMP6), a key endogenous positive regulator of hepcidin production. Diminished hepcidin expression in CuD rats was associated with lower levels of TfR2, but not BMP6. Our data suggest that holotransferrin and TfR2, rather than anemia or BMP6, are signals for hepcidin synthesis during copper deficiency.
Project description:Ferroportin (Fpn), a ferrous iron Fe(II) transporter responsible for the entry of iron into plasma, is regulated post-translationally through internalization and degradation following binding of the hormone hepcidin. Cellular iron export is impaired in mice and humans with aceruloplasminemia, an iron overload disease due to mutations in the ferroxidase ceruloplasmin (Cp). In the absence of Cp Fpn is rapidly internalized and degraded. Depletion of extracellular Fe(II) by the yeast ferroxidase Fet3p or iron chelators can maintain cell surface Fpn in the absence of Cp. Iron remains bound to Fpn in the absence of multicopper oxidases. Fpn with bound iron is recognized by a ubiquitin ligase, which ubiquitinates Fpn on lysine 253. Mutation of lysine 253 to alanine prevents ubiquitination and maintains Fpn-iron on cell surface in the absence of ferroxidase activity. The requirement for a ferroxidase to maintain iron transport activity represents a new mechanism of regulating cellular iron export, a new function for Cp and an explanation for brain iron overload in patients with aceruloplasminemia.
Project description:Hepcidin, a peptide hormone, is a key regulator in mammalian iron homeostasis. Increased level of hepcidin due to inflammatory conditions stimulates the ferroportin (FPN) transporter internalization, impairing the iron absorption; clinically manifested as anemia of inflammation (AI). Inhibiting hepcidin-mediated FPN degradation is proposed as an important strategy to combat AI. A systematic approach involving in silico, in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo studies is employed to identify hepcidin-binding agents. The virtual screening of 68,752 natural compounds via molecular docking resulted into identification of guanosine 5'-diphosphate (GDP) as a promising hepcidin-binding agent. The molecular dynamics simulations helped to identify the important hepcidin residues involved in stabilization of hepcidin-GDP complex. The results gave a preliminary indication that GDP may possibly inhibit the hepcidin-FPN interactions. The in vitro studies revealed that GDP caused FPN stabilization (FPN-GFP cell lines) and increased the FPN-mediated cellular iron efflux (HepG2 and Caco-2 cells). Interestingly, the co-administration of GDP and ferrous sulphate (FeSO4) ameliorated the turpentine-induced AI in mice (indicated by increased haemoglobin level, serum iron, FPN expression and decreased ferritin level). These results suggest that GDP a promising natural small-molecule inhibitor that targets Hepcidin-FPN complex may be incorporated with iron supplement regimens to ameliorate AI.
Project description:Ferroportin (Fpn) is the only known iron exporter in vertebrate cells and plays a critical role in iron homeostasis regulating cytosolic iron levels and exporting iron to plasma. Ferroportin1 (FPN1) expression can be transcriptionally regulated by iron as well as other transition metals. Fpn can also be posttranslationally regulated by hepcidin-mediated internalization and degradation. We demonstrate that zinc and cadmium induce FPN1 transcription through the action of Metal Transcription Factor-1 (MTF-1). These transition metals induce MTF-1 translocation into the nucleus. Zinc leads to MTF-1 binding to the FPN1 promoter, while iron does not. Silencing of MTF-1 reduces FPN1 transcription in response to zinc but not in response to iron. The mouse FPN1 promoter contains 2 MTF-1 binding sites and mutation of those sites affects the zinc and cadmium-dependent expression of a FPN1 promoter reporter construct. We demonstrate that Fpn can transport zinc and can protect zinc sensitive cells from high zinc toxicity.
Project description:Ferroportin exports iron into plasma from absorptive enterocytes, erythrophagocytosing macrophages, and hepatic stores. The hormone hepcidin controls cellular iron export and plasma iron concentrations by binding to ferroportin and causing its internalization and degradation. We explored the mechanism of hepcidin-induced endocytosis of ferroportin, the key molecular event in systemic iron homeostasis. Hepcidin binding caused rapid ubiquitination of ferroportin in cell lines overexpressing ferroportin and in murine bone marrow-derived macrophages. No hepcidin-dependent ubiquitination was observed in C326S ferroportin mutant which does not bind hepcidin. Substitutions of lysines between residues 229 and 269 in the third cytoplasmic loop of ferroportin prevented hepcidin-dependent ubiquitination and endocytosis of ferroportin, and promoted cellular iron export even in the presence of hepcidin. The human ferroportin mutation K240E, previously associated with clinical iron overload, caused hepcidin resistance in vitro by interfering with ferroportin ubiquitination. Our study demonstrates that ubiquitination is the functionally relevant signal for hepcidin-induced ferroportin endocytosis.
Project description:Iron is essential to the cell. Both iron deficiency and overload impinge negatively on cardiac health. Thus, effective iron homeostasis is important for cardiac function. Ferroportin (FPN), the only known mammalian iron-exporting protein, plays an essential role in iron homeostasis at the systemic level. It increases systemic iron availability by releasing iron from the cells of the duodenum, spleen, and liver, the sites of iron absorption, recycling, and storage respectively. However, FPN is also found in tissues with no known role in systemic iron handling, such as the heart, where its function remains unknown. To explore this function, we generated mice with a cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of Fpn. We show that these animals have severely impaired cardiac function, with a median survival of 22 wk, despite otherwise unaltered systemic iron status. We then compared their phenotype with that of ubiquitous hepcidin knockouts, a recognized model of the iron-loading disease hemochromatosis. The phenotype of the hepcidin knockouts was far milder, with normal survival up to 12 mo, despite far greater iron loading in the hearts. Histological examination demonstrated that, although cardiac iron accumulates within the cardiomyocytes of Fpn knockouts, it accumulates predominantly in other cell types in the hepcidin knockouts. We conclude, first, that cardiomyocyte FPN is essential for intracellular iron homeostasis and, second, that the site of deposition of iron within the heart determines the severity with which it affects cardiac function. Both findings have significant implications for the assessment and treatment of cardiac complications of iron dysregulation.
Project description:Retention of iron in tissue macrophages via upregulation of hepcidin (HAMP) and downregulation of the iron exporter ferroportin (FPN) is thought to participate in the establishment of anemia of inflammation after infection. However, an upregulation of FPN has been proposed to limit macrophages iron access to intracellular pathogens. Therefore, we studied the iron homeostasis and in particular the regulation of FPN after infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in mice presenting tissue macrophages with high iron (AcB61), basal iron (A/J and wild-type mice), or low iron (Hamp knock out, Hamp-/-) levels. The presence of iron in AcB61 macrophages due to extravascular hemolysis and strong erythrophagocytosis activity favored the proliferation of Salmonella in the spleen and liver with a concomitant decrease of FPN protein expression. Despite systemic iron overload, no or slight increase in Salmonella burden was observed in Hamp-/- mice compared to controls. Importantly, FPN expression at both mRNA and protein levels was strongly decreased during Salmonella infection in Hamp-/- mice. The repression of Fpn mRNA was also observed in Salmonella-infected cultured macrophages. In addition, the downregulation of FPN was associated with decreased iron stores in both the liver and spleen in infected mice. Our findings show that during Salmonella infection, FPN is repressed through an iron and hepcidin-independent mechanism. Such regulation likely provides the cellular iron indispensable for the growth of Salmonella inside the macrophages.