Iron incorporation into ferritins: Evidence for the transfer of monomeric Fe(III) between ferritin molecules and for the formation of an unusual mineral in the ferritin of Escherichia coli

E. R. Bauminger, A. Treffry, A. J. Hudson, D. Hechel, N. W. Hodson, S. C. Andrews, S. Levi, I. Nowik, P. Arosio, J. R. Guest, P. M. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Iron that has been oxidized by H-chain ferritin can be transferred into other ferritin molecules before it is incorporated into mature ferrihydrite iron cores. Iron(III) dimers are formed at the ferroxidase centres of ferritin H chains at an early stage of Fe(II) oxidation. Mossbauer spectroscopic data now show that the iron is transferred as monomeric species arising from dimer dissociation and that it binds to the iron core of the acceptor ferritin. Human H-chain ferritin variants containing altered threefold channels can act as acceptors, as can the ferritin of Escherichia coli (Ec-FTN). A human H-chain ferritin variant with a substituted tyrosine (rHuHF-Y34F) can act as a donor of Fe(III). Since an Fe(III)-tyrosinate (first identified in bullfrog H-chain ferritin) is absent from variant rHuHF-Y34F, the Fe(III) transferred is not derived from this tyrosinate complex. Mossbauer parameters of the small iron cores formed within Ec-FTN are significantly different from those of mammalian ferritins. Analysis of the spectra suggests that they are derived from both ferrihydrite and non-ferrihydrite components. This provides further evidence that the ferritin protein shell can influence the structure of its iron core.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-820
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical Journal
Volume302
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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    Bauminger, E. R., Treffry, A., Hudson, A. J., Hechel, D., Hodson, N. W., Andrews, S. C., Levi, S., Nowik, I., Arosio, P., Guest, J. R., & Harrison, P. M. (1994). Iron incorporation into ferritins: Evidence for the transfer of monomeric Fe(III) between ferritin molecules and for the formation of an unusual mineral in the ferritin of Escherichia coli. Biochemical Journal, 302(3), 813-820.