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Iron redox pathway revealed in ferritin via electron transfer analysis.

  • Author(s): Chen, Peng
  • De Meulenaere, Evelien
  • Deheyn, Dimitri D
  • Bandaru, Prabhakar R
  • et al.

Ferritin protein is involved in biological tissues in the storage and management of iron - an essential micro-nutrient in the majority of living systems. While there are extensive studies on iron-loaded ferritin, its functionality in iron delivery is not completely clear. Here, for the first time, differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) has been successfully adapted to address the challenge of resolving a cascade of fast and co-occurring redox steps in enzymatic systems such as ferritin. Using DPV, comparative analysis of ferritins from two evolutionary-distant organisms has allowed us to propose a stepwise resolution for the complex mix of concurrent redox steps that is inherent to ferritins and to fine-tune the structure-function relationship of each redox step. Indeed, the cyclic conversion between Fe3+ and Fe2+ as well as the different oxidative steps of the various ferroxidase centers already known in ferritins were successfully discriminated, bringing new evidence that both the 3-fold and 4-fold channels can be functional in ferritin.

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