HFE downregulates iron uptake from transferrin and induces iron-regulatory protein activity in stably transfected cells.

Department of Medicine, University Hospital of Heidelberg
Blood (Impact Factor: 9.78). 01/2000; 94(11):3915-21.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is a common autosomal-recessive disorder of iron metabolism. More than 80% of HH patients are homozygous for a point mutation in a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I type protein (HFE), which results in a lack of HFE expression on the cell surface. A previously identified interaction of HFE and the transferrin receptor suggests a possible regulatory role of HFE in cellular iron absorption. Using an HeLa cell line stably transfected with HFE under the control of a tetracycline-sensitive promoter, we investigated the effect of HFE expression on cellular iron uptake. We demonstrate that the overproduction of HFE results in decreased iron uptake from diferric transferrin. Moreover, HFE expression activates the key regulators of intracellular iron homeostasis, the iron-regulatory proteins (IRPs), implying that HFE can affect the intracellular "labile iron pool." The increase in IRP activity is accompanied by the downregulation of the iron-storage protein, ferritin, and an upregulation of transferrin receptor levels. These findings are discussed in the context of the pathophysiology of HH and a possible role of iron-responsive element (IRE)-containing mRNAs.

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    ABSTRACT: MHC class I antigen presentation is an ubiquitous process by which cells present endogenous proteins to CD8+ T lymphocytes during immune surveillance and response. Accordingly, classical MHC I molecules are up-regulated in response to inflammatory stimuli to favor immune recognition and pathogen clearance. HFE is a non-classical, MHC Ib molecule which acts as a negative regulator of iron absorption. HFE has been linked to the development of hereditary hemochromatosis (HH), an iron overload disease often associated to immune defects. Firstly, we studied the impact of HFE expression on MHC I antigen presentation, as a hypothesis for HH-associated immunological defects observed in HFEC282Y-mutated HH patients. Secondly, we evaluated whether, like its classical MHC I counterparts, HFE expression could be modulated in response to peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) inflammation. We developed an antigen presentation system in which we control MHC I expression, HFE expression, and expression of a model antigen for which we have generated antigen-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes. Our results demonstrate that wild-type HFE (HFEWT), but not C282Y- mutated HFE (HFEC282Y), inhibits recognition of MHC I antigens. We further demonstrate that inhibition of antigen recognition is maintained regardless of MHC I surface levels, β2- microglobulin competition, HFE ability to interact with transferrin receptor, antigen origin, or epitope affinity. We identified the α1-2 domains of HFEWT as being responsible for inhibiting antigen recognition. However, recognition of externally peptide-pulsed 293-A2 remained uninhibited in presence of HFEWT, indicating that HFE may affect T cell recognition by interfering with intracellular antigen processing. We also questioned whether activated T lymphocytes may influence HFE expression. We established that HFE is widely expressed in healthy human tissues and induced in colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer and melanoma cell lines. Furthermore, HFE mRNA expression was drastically inhibited in all tumor cell lines when exposed to activated T lymphocytes. Down-regulation of HFE mRNA expression was independent of cell contact and appears to be partially mediated by GM-CSF, IFN-γ, and TNF. Overall, these data suggest that host T lymphocytes may alter HFE expression levels in the inflammatory microenvironment, which could, in turn, promote recognition of MHC I antigens presented to antigen-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes. Accordingly, this could suggest a new physiological role for HFEWT in the MHC I antigen presentation pathway, which could modulate antigen immunogenicity and the cellular immune response.
    12/2013, Degree: Ph.D., Supervisor: Manuela M. Santos, Réjean Lapointe
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    ABSTRACT: MHC class I (MHC I) antigen presentation is an ubiquitous process by which cells present endogenous proteins to CD8(+) T lymphocytes during immune surveillance and response. Hereditary hemochromatosis protein, HFE, is involved in cellular iron uptake but, while structurally homologous to MHC I, is unable to bind peptides. However, increasing evidence suggests a role for HFE in the immune system. Here, we investigated the impact of HFE on CD8(+) T-lymphocyte activation. Using transient HFE transfection assays in a model of antigen-presenting cells (293-A2), we show that wild-type HFE (HFEWT ), but not C282Y-mutated HFE, inhibits secretion of MIP-1β from antigen-specific CD8(+) T lymphocytes. HFEWT expression also resulted in major decreases in CD8(+) T-lymphocyte activation as measured by 4-1BB expression. We further demonstrate that inhibition of CD8(+) T-lymphocyte activation was independent of MHC I surface levels, β2-m competition, HFE interaction with transferrin receptor, antigen origin, or epitope affinity. Finally, we identified the α1-2 domains of HFEWT as being responsible for inhibiting CD8(+) T-lymphocyte activation. Our data imply a new role for HFEWT in altering CD8(+) T-lymphocyte reactivity, which could modulate antigen immunogenicity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    European Journal of Immunology 03/2014; DOI:10.1002/eji.201343955 · 4.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Iron is essential for all known life due to its redox properties; however, these same properties can also lead to its toxicity in overload through the production of reactive oxygen species. Robust systemic and cellular control are required to maintain safe levels of iron, and the liver seems to be where this regulation is mainly located. Iron misregulation is implicated in many diseases, and as our understanding of iron metabolism improves, the list of iron-related disorders grows. Recent developments have resulted in greater knowledge of the fate of iron in the body and have led to a detailed map of its metabolism; however, a quantitative understanding at the systems level of how its components interact to produce tight regulation remains elusive. A mechanistic computational model of human liver iron metabolism, which includes the core regulatory components, is presented here. It was constructed based on known mechanisms of regulation and on their kinetic properties, obtained from several publications. The model was then quantitatively validated by comparing its results with previously published physiological data, and it is able to reproduce multiple experimental findings. A time course simulation following an oral dose of iron was compared to a clinical time course study and the simulation was found to recreate the dynamics and time scale of the systems response to iron challenge. A disease state simulation of haemochromatosis was created by altering a single reaction parameter that mimics a human haemochromatosis gene (HFE) mutation. The simulation provides a quantitative understanding of the liver iron overload that arises in this disease. This model supports and supplements understanding of the role of the liver as an iron sensor and provides a framework for further modelling, including simulations to identify valuable drug targets and design of experiments to improve further our knowledge of this system.
    PLoS Computational Biology 11/2013; 9(11):e1003299. DOI:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003299 · 4.83 Impact Factor

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