Role of iron and ferritin in TNFα-induced apoptosis in HeLa cells

Anna Cozzi, Sonia Levi, Barbara Corsi, Paolo Santambrogio, Alessandro Campanella, Gianmario Gerardi, Paolo Arosio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We found that tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα)-induced apoptosis in HeLa cells was accompanied by a ∼2-fold increase in H- and L-ferritin and a decrease in transferrin receptor, two indices of increased iron availability. Iron supplementation and overexpression of H-ferritin or its mutant with an inactivated ferroxidase center reduced by about ∼50% the number of apoptotic cells after TNFα-treatment, while overexpression of L-ferritin was ineffective. The data indicate that H-ferritin has an anti-apoptotic activity unrelated to its ferroxidase activity and to its capacity to modify cellular iron metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 27 2003


  • Ferritin
  • Iron metabolism
  • Iron regulatory protein
  • Oxidative damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of iron and ferritin in TNFα-induced apoptosis in HeLa cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this