Title: Serum prohepcidin is associated with soluble transferrin receptor-1 but not ferritin in healthy post-menopausal women.
Authors: Huang, Xi; Fung, Eric T; Yip, Christine; Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne
Published In Blood Cells Mol Dis, (2008 Nov-Dec)
Abstract: Hepcidin is a 25-amino-acid iron peptide hormone originated from its two precursors of prohepcidin (60-amino-acid) and preprohepcidin (84-amino-acid). Serum prohepcidin levels have been widely used to evaluate iron overload in clinical and preclinical studies. However, its usefulness is often questioned and its stepwise conversion mechanism remains largely unknown. Using New York University Women's Health Study subjects, we measured serum levels of prohepcidin with ELISA and hepcidin with mass spectrometry as well as ferritin and soluble transferrin receptor 1 (sTfR1) in 45 normal healthy post-menopausal women over a 1-year period with 2 samples per subject. We found that serum prohepcidin levels are correlated with the serum sTfR1 levels (r=0.45, p<0.01) but not to ferritin levels (r=0.08, p=0.60), suggesting that serum prohepcidin is not a biomarker of iron overload that was originally thought and designed for. Interestingly, serum hepcidin levels are associated with serum ferritin levels (r=0.64, p<0.0001) but not with sTfR1 levels (r=0.06, p=0.70), indicating that hepcidin is a measure of iron overload. Although hepcidin is a downstream product of prohepcidin, the amounts of hepcidin and prohepcidin are not related to each other (r=-0.007, p=0.90) under normal physiological conditions. The interrelationships between sTfR1 and prohepcidin or between ferritin and hepcidin suggest that ferritin- and sTfR1-sensed hepcidin conversion system exist in human body and maybe regulated at the post-translational level.
PubMed ID: 18694648
MeSH Terms: Adult; Aged; Antigens, CD/metabolism*; Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/blood*; Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/metabolism; Female; Ferritins/blood*; Ferritins/metabolism; Hepcidins; Humans; Iron/blood; Iron/metabolism; Middle Aged; Postmenopause*; Protein Precursors/blood*; Protein Precursors/metabolism; Receptors, Transferrin/metabolism*