Transferrin receptors and iron uptake during erythroid cell development

B. J. Iacopetta, E. H. Morgan, G. C T Yeoh

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    128 Citations (Scopus)


    Experiments were performed to determine the level of transferrin receptors and rate of transferrin-bound iron uptake by various immature erythroid cell populations. Developing erythroid cells from the rat and mouse foetal liver at various stages of gestation were studied. In addition Friend leukaemic cells grown in culture were examined. The transferrin receptor level of Friend cells was similar to that of erythroid cells from the mouse foetal liver. During erythroid cell development the transferrin receptor level increased from about 300 000 per cell at the early normoblast stage to reach a maximum of about 800 000 per cell on intermediate normoblasts. Further maturation of intermediate normoblasts was accompanied by a decline in the number of transferrin receptors, reaching a level of 105 000 in the circulating reticulocyte. The rate of iron uptake from transferrin during erythroid cell development was found to correlate closely with the number of transferrin receptors. In each of the immature erythroid cell populations studied the rate of iron uptake was about 36 iron atoms per receptor per hour. These results indicate that the level of transferrin receptors may be the major factor which determines the rate of iron uptake during erythroid cell development.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)204-210
    Number of pages7
    JournalBBA - Biomembranes
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 7 May 1982


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