Editors' ChoiceIRON METABOLISM

Ironing Out Stress

Science Signaling  18 Aug 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 84, pp. ec276
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.284ec276

The peptide hormone hepcidin is secreted from the liver in response to extracellular factors, including inflammation, and regulates iron homeostasis by controlling transmembrane iron transport. Vecchi et al. showed that intracellular stress signals in the endoplasmic reticulum also control hepcidin expression and can thus modulate local or systemic iron traffic. This mechanism occurs through the transcription factor CREBH, which is a known mediator of the inflammatory response. Collectively, the results suggest a direct link between the intracellular stress response, innate immunity, and iron metabolism.

C. Vecchi, G. Montosi, K. Zhang, I. Lamberti, S. A. Duncan, R. J. Kaufman, A. Pietrangelo, ER stress controls iron metabolism through induction of hepcidin. Science 325, 877–880 (2009). [Abstract] [Full Text]