Recent studies demonstrate a pivotal role for bone morphogenic protein-6 (BMP6) and matriptase-2, a protein encoded by the TMPRSS6 gene, in the induction and suppression of hepatic hepcidin expression, respectively. We examined their expression profiles in the liver and showed a predominant localization of BMP6mRNA in nonparenchymal cells and exclusive expression of TMPRSS6 mRNAin hepatocytes. In rats fed an iron-deficient (ID) diet for 24 hours, the rapid decrease of transferrin saturation from 71% to 24% (control vs ID diet) was associated with a 100-fold decrease in hepcidin mRNA compared with the corresponding controls. These results indicated a close correlation of low transferrin saturation with decreased hepcidin mRNA. The lower phosphorylated Smad1/5/8 detected in the ID rat livers suggests that the suppressed hepcidin expression results from the inhibition of BMP signaling. Quantitative realtime reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed no significant change in either BMP6 or TMPRSS6 mRNA in the liver. However, an increase in matriptase-2 protein in the liver from ID rats was detected, suggesting that suppression of hepcidin expression in response to acute iron deprivation is mediated by an increase in matriptase-2 protein levels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology