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Hereditary Hemochromatosis

An Algorithmic Approach to Diagnosis

Iron Absorption and Transport by Intestinal Epithelium

Slide 7

January 2009

Iron is absorbed from the gut and transported to the blood by the duodenal villus cell. Let’s focus first on ferric iron in the lumen of the intestine. That ferric iron is reduced by the membrane bound protein ferrireductase to ferrous iron which is then transported across the cell membrane by divalent metal transporter 1, frequently referred to as DMT1. The transported iron enters the cellular iron pool. Now let’s focus back on the lumen of the intestine at heme bound iron. Heme iron is transported by the heme carrier protein which facilitates the uptake of ferrous iron into the cellular iron pool. The villus cell facilitates transport of ferrous iron into the blood capillary by an active iron transporter called ferroportin . Once ferrous iron reaches the blood , it undergoes oxidation by the membrane bound protein hephaestin to ferric iron which binds to the protein apotransferrin to form the circulating protein-bound iron complex called transferrin.

Iron Absorption


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