Iron metabolism in BeWo chorion carcinoma cells. Transferrin-mediated uptake and release of iron

A. van der Ende, A. du Maine, C. F. Simmons, A. L. Schwartz, G. J. Strous

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

Growing human choriocarcinoma BeWo b24 cells contain 1.5 x 106 functional cell surface transferrin binding sites and 2.0 x 106 intracellular binding sites. These cells rapidly accumulate iron at a rate of 360,000 iron atoms/min/cell. During iron uptake the transferrin and its receptor recycle at least each 19 min. The accumulated iron is released from the BeWo cells at a considerable rate. The time required to release 50% of previously accumulated iron into the extracellular medium is 30 h. This release process is cell line-specific and HeLa cells release very little if any iron. The release of iron by BeWo cells is stimulated by exogenous chelators such as apotransferrin, diethylenetriaminepenta-acetic acid, desferral, and apolactoferrin. The time required to release 50% of the previously accumulated iron into medium supplemented with chelator is 15 h. In the absence of added chelators iron is released as a low molecular weight complex, whereas in the presence of chelator the iron is found complexed to the chelator. Uptake of iron is inhibited by 250 μM primaquine or 2.5 μM monensin. However, the release of iron is not inhibited by these drugs. Intracellular iron is stored bound to ferritin. A model for the release of iron by BeWo cells and its implication for transplacental iron transport is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8910-8916
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume262
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 17 1987
Externally publishedYes

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    van der Ende, A., du Maine, A., Simmons, C. F., Schwartz, A. L., & Strous, G. J. (1987). Iron metabolism in BeWo chorion carcinoma cells. Transferrin-mediated uptake and release of iron. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 262(18), 8910-8916.