Crystal Structure of the Hemochromatosis Protein HFE and Characterization of Its Interaction with Transferrin Receptor

Abstract

HFE is an MHC-related protein that is mutated in the iron-overload disease hereditary hemochromatosis. HFE binds to transferrin receptor (TfR) and reduces its affinity for iron-loaded transferrin, implicating HFE in iron metabolism. The 2.6 A crystal structure of HFE reveals the locations of hemochromatosis mutations and a patch of histidines that could be involved in pH-dependent interactions. We also demonstrate that soluble TfR and HFE bind tightly at the basic pH of the cell surface, but not at the acidic pH of intracellular vesicles. TfR:HFE stoichiometry (2:1) differs from TfR:transferrin stoichiometry (2:2), implying a different mode of binding for HFE and transferrin to TfR, consistent with our demonstration that HFE, transferrin, and TfR form a ternary complex.

DOI: 10.1016/S0092-8674(00)81151-4

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@article{Lebrn1998CrystalSO, title={Crystal Structure of the Hemochromatosis Protein HFE and Characterization of Its Interaction with Transferrin Receptor}, author={Jos{\'e} A Lebr{\'o}n and Melanie J. Bennett and Daniel E. Vaughn and Arthur J. Chirino and Peter M. Snow and Gabriel A. Mintier and John N. Feder and Pamela J. Bjorkman}, journal={Cell}, year={1998}, volume={93}, pages={111-123} }