The Re-Emerging Role of Iron in Infection and Immunity

Mawieh Hamad, Khuloud Bajbouj
2016 Integrative Molecular Medicine  
Much has been achieved over the past three decades in the quest to understand iron homeostasis and the mechanisms governing it. Several proteins including hepcidin, ferroprtin, transferrin receptors, and ferritin have been identified as key players in iron metabolism and homeostasis. This has provided for a thorough revisiting of the role of iron in various disease states including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and susceptibility to infection to name few. Regarding the later, although the
more » ... er, although the idea that iron is essential for microbial pathogenesis has been known for a long time, knowledge regarding key mechanisms employed by pathogens to extract iron and counter mechanisms employed by the immune system to sequester iron has expanded in a significant way. Furthermore, there is renewed interest in the role of iron in immunity and the extent and ramifications of the reciprocal effects of either on the other. This mini-review starts by introducing the reader to the basics of iron metabolism and goes on to briefly, but non-exhaustively, recount the epic fight for iron between pathogen and host. Figure 1. Basic aspects of iron metabolism regulation in body cells. TF, transferrin; TFR, transferrin receptor; FPN, ferroportin.
doi:10.15761/imm.1000251 fatcat:va5yjqhhhzfexibmcny52qjvuy