ABSTRACT: Ferroportin-related iron overload disease differs from haemochromatosis in that it has a dominant mode of inheritance and is usually associated with macrophage iron sequestration. However, it is thought that mutations with opposite effects on protein functions, i.e. loss-of-function versus gain-of-function mutations, are responsible for variable phenotype presentations. The present study investigated the functional relevance of a novel ferroportin variant: the c.1502 A>G transition, which changes amino acid 501 from tyrosine to cysteine (p.Y501C). This novel variant was identified in a pedigree originating from Central Italy and, although an intra-familial phenotype heterogeneity was observed, it co-segregated with an iron overload picture similar to that of the HFE-related typical haemochromatosis. In cultured cells, the p.Y501C mutant protein reached the plasma membrane and retained a full iron export ability. By contrast, it was resistant to inhibition by hepcidin. These findings confirm that certain ferroportin mutations compromise the activity of hepcidin in iron homeostasis, mimicking hepcidin deficiency as described in all types of hemochromatosis.
British Journal of Haematology 09/2009; 147(3):379-85. · 4.94 Impact Factor