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Iron Regulatory Proteins as NO Signal Transducers

The iron regulatory proteins (IRPs) are an example of different proteins regulating the same metabolic process, iron uptake and metabolism. IRP1 is an iron-sulfur cluster-containing protein that can be converted from a cytosolic aconitase to an RNA binding posttranscriptional regulator in response to nitric oxide (NO). IRP2 lacks aconitase activity and its expression is decreased by NO signaling. In macrophages, NO is produced in response to such inflammatory ligands as interferon-γ, which is expressed in response to mitogenic and antigenic stimuli, and lipopolysaccharide, a marker of bacterial invasion. Until recently, research results predict that the cellular response to increased NO production should be a decrease in ferritin synthesis, due to IRP1 binding to ferritin mRNA, and an increase in transferrin receptor biosynthesis, due to IRP1 binding to the transferrin mRNA. Surprisingly, however, macrophages exhibit decreased transferrin receptor concentration in response to inflammatory ligands. Bouton and Drapier discuss the physiological role and the mechanisms that may underlie this contradictory response.

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Resource Type: Diagram, Illustration, Journal article/Issue, Review
Audience Level: Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program)

Author and Copyright

Authors and Editors: Cecile Bouton of CNRS, Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles, Jean-Claude Drapier of CNRS, Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Format: application/pdf, image/gif, image/jpeg, text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: Yes


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