TMPRSS6 rs855791 modulates hepcidin transcription in vitro and serum hepcidin levels in normal individuals

Antonella Nai, Alessia Pagani, Laura Silvestri, Natascia Campostrini, Michela Corbella, Domenico Girelli, Michela Traglia, Daniela Toniolo, Clara Camaschella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The iron hormone hepcidin is inhibited by matriptase-2 (MT2), a liver serine protease encoded by the TMPRSS6 gene. Cleaving the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) coreceptor hemojuvelin (HJV), MT2 impairs the BMP/son of mothers against decapentaplegic homologs (SMAD) signaling pathway, down-regulates hepcidin, and facilitates iron absorption.TMPRSS6 inactivation causes iron-deficiency anemia refractory to iron administration both in humans and mice. Genome-wide association studies have shown that the SNP rs855791, which causes the MT2 V736A amino acid substitution, is associated with variations of serum iron, transferrin saturation, hemoglobin, and erythrocyte traits. In the present study, we show that, in vitro, MT2 736 A inhibits hepcidin more efficiently than 736 V. Moreover, in a genotyped population, after exclusion of samples with iron deficiency and inflammation, hepcidin, hepcidin/transferrin saturation, and hepcidin/ferritin ratios were significantly lower and iron parameters were consistently higher in homozygotes 736 A than in 736 V. Our results indicate that rs855791 is a TMPRSS6 functional variant and strengthen the idea that even a partial inability to modulate hepcidin influences iron parameters and, indirectly, erythropoiesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4459-4462
Number of pages4
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Oct 20 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology


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