Identification of The Canidae Iron Regulatory Hormone Hepcidin

Martin K. Mead, Melissa Claus, Edward Litton, Lisa Smart, Anthea Raisis, Gabriele Rossi, Robert D. Trengove, Joel P.A. Gummer

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Hepcidins are an evolutionarily conserved class of liver-expressed peptide, from which the twenty-five amino acid hormone, hepcidin-25 (herein hepcidin), has gained significant notoriety as the master regulator of iron homeostasis in mammals. Hepcidin maintains iron homeostasis by controlling the dietary absorption of iron and the mechanisms of recycling cellular iron stores. With the physiological significance of this hormone well established, it has emerged as an informative biomarker. In a comparison of the genome, transcriptome and peptidome of Canis lupis familiaris, we reveal the size of the hepcidin peptide in the canine, previous reports of which were contradictory to the evolutionary conservation predicted by genome annotation. Here, measurement of the peptide by mass spectrometry, following isolation from greyhound blood serum, revealed an amino acid sequence and peptide mass, differing from all accounts to date, yet demonstrating perfect sequence identity to that of the greater Canidae lineage of the Carnivora. Importantly, in the greyhound, the measured hepcidin peptide showed a similar temporal pattern to total serum iron, consistent with our understanding of hepcidin regulating iron homeostasis, in agreement with human diagnostics, and providing added translational evidence of the measured peptide being the iron regulatory hormone of the Canidae.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19400
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2019


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