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Regulation of iron balance

Clara Camaschella, MD
Stanley L Schrier, MD
Section Editor
William C Mentzer, MD
Deputy Editor
Jennifer S Tirnauer, MD


The regulation of iron metabolism involves the interaction of a number of specific proteins as well as the interplay between iron absorption, recycling, and iron loss. This topic review will discuss these factors [1]. Disorders of iron balance, both iron deficiency and iron overload, are discussed separately.


Our current understanding of iron metabolism and the hallmarks of iron deficiency and excess is based upon the biology of a number of critical proteins including, but not limited to, the following (figure 1) [2-5]:

Transferrin (Tf)

Transferrin receptor (TfR)

Ferritin (Ft)


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