Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential new target for drugs to treat iron deficiency and overload discovered

Date:
January 29, 2010
Source:
Medical College of Georgia
Summary:
The discovery of a major player in the body's regulation of iron levels should provide a new target for drugs that prevent common iron deficiency as well as rare, potentially deadly iron overload, researchers said.

This is Dr. Wen-Cheng Xiong (left) with research assistant Dae-hoon Lee, first author of a study in Blood detailing a newly discovered player in how the body regulates iron.
Credit: Medical College of Georgia

The discovery of a major player in the body's regulation of iron levels should provide a new target for drugs that prevent common iron deficiency as well as rare, potentially deadly iron overload, researchers said.

Medical College of Georgia researchers noted in the online edition of Blood that the protein neogenin, a receptor that aids in neural development, is also part of the body's interwoven regulatory process for iron. The receptor, located on the cell surface, should be an easy target for drug development to help increase or decrease iron levels as needed, said Dr. Wen-Cheng Xiong, the study's corresponding author and a developmental neurobiologist at the Medical College of Georgia Schools of Medicine and Graduate Studies.

Iron, an essential nutrient in foods such as meats, beans and spinach, is used by all cells but primarily helps red blood cells deliver oxygen throughout the body. However, in some individuals, low levels cause iron deficiency-anemia while genetic diseases such as juvenile hemochromatosis or blood transfusions can result in toxic levels of iron in the body.

In the brain, neogenin works with other molecules to heard neurons in the right direction. One of those molecules, repulsive guidance molecules, or RGMs, are already known to help regulate iron levels, which led MCG researchers to suspect neogenin had a role as well.

Studies in mice showed neogenin inhibits secretion of an RGM gene called hemojuvelin. That reduces the signaling of a protein that reduces expression of hepcidin, a hormone released by the liver to control circulating iron levels by storing it in the spleen until it is needed and directing the intestines on how much iron to absorb or eliminate. In cells in culture, researchers consistently found that increased expression of hemojuvelin increases hepcidin expression while suppression decreases it.

Next steps include determining whether neogenin expression is up or down in patients with iron-related issues such as anemia or juvenile hemochromatosis.

"If that is verified, drugs to stimulate or inhibit neogenin would be useful," Dr. Xiong said. She predicts that neogenin expression will be increased in patients with iron deficiency anemia and decreased in iron-overload conditions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Georgia. "Potential new target for drugs to treat iron deficiency and overload discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100128101903.htm>.
Medical College of Georgia. (2010, January 29). Potential new target for drugs to treat iron deficiency and overload discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100128101903.htm
Medical College of Georgia. "Potential new target for drugs to treat iron deficiency and overload discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100128101903.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) The village of Kasensero on the shores of Lake Victoria was where HIV-AIDS was first discovered in Uganda. Its transient population of fishermen and sex workers means the nationwide programme to combat the virus has had little impact. Duration: 02:30 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins