A role of SMAD4 in iron metabolism through the positive regulation of hepcidin expression

Genetics of Development and Disease Branch, 10/9N105, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
Cell Metabolism (Impact Factor: 16.75). 01/2006; 2(6):399-409. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2005.10.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hereditary hemochromatosis, characterized by iron overload in multiple organs, is one of the most common genetic disorders among Caucasians. Hepcidin, which is synthesized in the liver, plays important roles in iron overload syndromes. Here, we show that a Cre-loxP-mediated liver-specific disruption of SMAD4 results in markedly decreased hepcidin expression and accumulation of iron in many organs, which is most pronounced in liver, kidney, and pancreas. Transcript levels of genes involved in intestinal iron absorption, including Dcytb, DMT1, and ferroportin, are significantly elevated in the absence of hepcidin. We demonstrate that ectopic overexpression of SMAD4 activates the hepcidin promoter and is associated with epigenetic modification of histone H3 to a transcriptionally active form. Moreover, transcriptional activation of hepcidin is abrogated in SMAD4-deficient hepatocytes in response to iron overload, TGF-beta, BMP, or IL-6. Our study uncovers a novel role of TGF-beta/SMAD4 in regulating hepcidin expression and thus intestinal iron transport and iron homeostasis.

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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in transferrin receptor 2 (TfR2) cause a rare form of the hereditary hemochromatosis (HH), resulting in iron overload predominantly in the liver. TfR2 is primarily expressed in hepatocytes and is hypothesized to sense iron levels in the blood to positively regulate the expression of hepcidin through activation of the BMP-signaling pathway. Hepcidin is a peptide hormone that negatively regulates iron egress from cells and thus limits intestinal iron uptake. In this study, a yeast two-hybrid approach using the cytoplasmic domain of TfR2 identified CD81 as an interacting protein. CD81 is an abundant tetraspanin in the liver. Co-precipitations of CD81 with different TfR2 constructs demonstrated that both the cytoplasmic and ecto-transmembrane domains of TfR2 interact with CD81. Knockdown of CD81 using siRNA significantly increased TfR2 levels by increasing the half-life of TfR2, indicating that CD81 promotes degradation of TfR2. Previous studies showed that CD81 is targeted for degradation by GRAIL, an ubiquitin E3 ligase. Knockdown of GRAIL in Hep3B-TfR2 cells increased TfR2 levels, consistent with inhibition of CD81 ubiquitination. These results suggest that downregulation of CD81 by GRAIL targets TfR2 for degradation. Surprisingly, knockdown of CD81 decreased hepcidin expression, implying that the TfR2/CD81 complex is involved in the maintenance of hepcidin mRNA. Moreover, knockdown of CD81 did not affect the stimulation of hepcidin expression by BMP6, but increased both the expression of ID1 and SMAD7, direct targets of BMP-signaling pathway, and the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, indicating that the CD81 regulates hepcidin expression differently from the BMP and ERK1/2-signaling pathways. Copyright © 2015, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the regulation of human hepcidin (HAMP) and mouse hepcidin (hepcidin-1 and hepcidin-2) gene expression in the liver by apoptosis using in vivo and in vitro experimental models.
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Iron overload accelerates bone loss in mice lacking the bone morphogenetic protein 6 (Bmp6) gene, which is the key endogenous regulator of hepcidin, iron homeostasis gene. We investigated involvement of other BMPs in preventing haemochromatosis and subsequent osteopenia in Bmp6-/- mice. Methods Iron-treated wild-type (WT) and Bmp6-/- mice were analysed for hepcidin messenger RNA (mRNA) and tissue and blood BMP levels by quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), immunohistochemistry, Western blot, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and proximity extension assay. BMPs labeled with technetium-99m were used in pharmacokinetic studies. Results In WT mice, 4 h following iron challenge, liver Bmp6 and hepcidin expression were increased, while expression of other Bmps was not affected. In parallel, we provided the first evidence that BMP6 circulates in WT mice and that iron increased the BMP6 serum level and the specific liver uptake of 99mTc-BMP6. In Bmp6-/- mice, iron challenge led to blunted activation of liver Smad signaling and hepcidin expression with a delay of 24 h, associated with increased Bmp5 and Bmp7 expression and increased Bmp2, 4, 5 and 9 expression in the duodenum. Liver Bmp7 expression and increased circulating BMP9 eventually contributed to the late hepcidin response. This was further supported by exogenous BMP7 therapy resulting in an effective hepcidin expression followed by a rapid normalisation of plasma iron values and restored osteopenia in Bmp6-/- mice. Conclusion In Bmp6-/- mice, iron activated endogenous compensatory mechanisms of other BMPs that were not sufficient for preventing hemochromatosis and bone loss. Administration of exogenous BMP7 was effective in correcting the plasma iron level and bone loss, indicating that BMP6 is an essential but not exclusive in vivo regulator of iron homeostasis.
    International Orthopaedics 10/2014; 39(1). DOI:10.1007/s00264-014-2550-4 · 2.02 Impact Factor