Molecular control of iron metabolism.
As described in this volume, our knowledge of mammalian iron metabolism has advanced dramatically over the past decade. While basic physiological concepts were described through elegant experiments in the 1950s and 1960s, many molecular details remained unknown. Modern techniques in genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology have allowed for the identification and characterization of most, but probably not all, of the key molecules that move iron into, out of, and between cells. Insight into the complex regulation of these iron transport proteins has been accelerated through the identification of hemochromatosis disease genes. Although much of the information has been gleaned from experiments in animal models, it is likely that it can be directly extrapolated to humans.
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