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Plos Biology : Mechanism for Multiple Ligand Recognition by the Human Transferrin Receptor, Volume 1

By Thornton, Janet

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Book Id: WPLBN0003921961
Format Type: PDF eBook :
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Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Plos Biology : Mechanism for Multiple Ligand Recognition by the Human Transferrin Receptor, Volume 1  
Author: Thornton, Janet
Volume: Volume 1
Language: English
Subject: Journals, Science, Biology
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), PLoS Biology
Publication Date:
Publisher: Plos


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Thornton, J. (n.d.). Plos Biology : Mechanism for Multiple Ligand Recognition by the Human Transferrin Receptor, Volume 1. Retrieved from

Description : Transferrin receptor 1 (TfR) plays a critical role in cellular iron import for most higher organisms. Cell surface TfR binds to circulating iron-loaded transferrin (Fe-Tf) and transports it to acidic endosomes, where low pH promotes iron to dissociate from transferrin (Tf) in a TfR-assisted process. The iron-free form of Tf (apo-Tf) remains bound to TfR and is recycled to the cell surface, where the complex dissociates upon exposure to the slightly basic pH of the blood. Fe-Tf competes for binding to TfR with HFE, the protein mutated in the iron-overload disease hereditary hemochromatosis. We used a quantitative surface plasmon resonance assay to determine the binding affinities of an extensive set of sitedirected TfR mutants to HFE and Fe-Tf at pH 7.4 and to apo-Tf at pH 6.3. These results confirm the previous finding that Fe-Tf and HFE compete for the receptor by binding to an overlapping site on the TfR helical domain. Spatially distant mutations in the TfR protease-like domain affect binding of Fe-Tf, but not iron-loaded Tf C-lobe, apo-Tf, or HFE, and mutations at the edge of the TfR helical domain affect binding of apo-Tf, but not Fe-Tf or HFE. The binding data presented here reveal the binding footprints on TfR for Fe-Tf and apo-Tf. These data support a model in which the Tf Clobe contacts the TfR helical domain and the Tf N-lobe contacts the base of the TfR protease-like domain. The differential effects of some TfR mutations on binding to Fe-Tf and apo-Tf suggest differences in the contact points between TfR and the two forms of Tf that could be caused by pH-dependent conformational changes in Tf, TfR, or both. From these data, we propose a structure-based model for the mechanism of TfR-assisted iron release from Fe-Tf.


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