Journal of cellular and molecular medicine

Ferroportin 1 is expressed basolaterally in rat kidney proximal tubule cells and iron excess increases its membrane trafficking.

PMID 20015204


Ferroportin 1 (FPN1) is an iron export protein expressed in liver and duodenum, as well as in reticuloendothelial macrophages. Previously, we have shown that divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1) is expressed in late endosomes and lysosomes of the kidney proximal tubule (PT), the nephron segment responsible for the majority of solute reabsorption. We suggested that following receptor mediated endocytosis of transferrin filtered by the glomerulus, DMT1 exports iron liberated from transferrin into the cytosol. FPN1 is also expressed in the kidney yet its role remains obscure. As a first step towards determining the role of renal FPN1, we localized FPN1 in the PT. FPN1 was found to be located in association with the basolateral PT membrane and within the cytosolic compartment. FPN1 was not expressed on the apical brush-border membrane of PT cells. These data support a role for FPN1 in vectorial export of iron out of PT cells. Furthermore, under conditions of iron loading of cultured PT cells, FPN1 was trafficked to the plasma membrane suggesting a coordinated cellular response to export excess iron and limit cellular iron concentrations.

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