Heme regulation of HeLa cell transferrin receptor number
Journal of Biological Chemistry
The number of diferic transferrin receptors on HeLa cells decreases when cells are grown in iron-supplemented media. The experiments reported here suggest that heme is the iron-containing compound which serves as the signal for receptor number regulation. When HeLa cells were grown in the presence of hemin, transferrin receptor number decreased to a greater degree than when cells were grown in equivalent amounts of iron supplied as ferric ammonium citrate. Incubation of cells in conditions
... in conditions which increased cellular heme content resulted in a decrease in cellular transferrin receptors. Incubating cells with 5-aminolevulinic acid (thus bypassing the rate-limiting step in heme biosynthesis, 5-aminolevulinic acid synthase) led to a decrease in transferrin receptor number. Incubation of cells with an inhibitor of heme oxygenase, Sn-protoporphyrin IX, also led to a decrease in transferrin receptor number. When cellular heme content was decreased by inhibiting heme synthesis with succinylacetone (an inhibitor of 5-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase), or by depriving cells of iron with deferoxamine, an increase in HeLa cell transferrin receptor number was seen. When HeLa cells were incubated with inducers of heme oxygenase (CoCl2, SnCl2, Co-protoporphyrin IX), transferrin receptor number also increased. The effects of all compounds which alter transferrin receptor number were dependent on the concentration of the supplement, as well as the duration of the supplementation. These experiments suggest that intracellular heme content may be an important signal controlling transferrin receptor number.