Divalent metal-dependent regulation of hepcidin expression by MTF-1

Sara Balesaria, Bala Ramesh, Harry J. McArdle, Henry K. Bayele, Surjit K. S. Srai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Hepcidin is a small acute phase peptide that regulates iron absorption. It is induced by inflammation and infection, but is repressed by anaemia and hypoxia. Here we further reveal that hepcidin transcription also involves interactions between functional metal response elements (MREs) in its promoter, and the MRE-binding transcription factor-1. Analysis of hepcidin mRNA and protein levels in hepatoma cells suggests that its expression may be regulated by divalent metal ions, with zinc inducing maximal effects on hepcidin levels. These data suggest that this peptide may be a pleiotropic sensor of divalent metals, some of which are xenobiotic environmental toxins. (C) 2009 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-725
Number of pages7
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2010


  • zinc
  • iron
  • hepcidin
  • MRE-binding transcription factor-1
  • metal response element
  • transcription factor MTF-1
  • metallothionein-IIA gene
  • intestinal caco-2 cells
  • zinc transporter
  • iron-metabolism
  • in-vitro
  • functional expression
  • responsive elements
  • binding activity
  • protein-binding


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