The enigmatic role of the hemochromatosis protein (HFE) in iron absorption

Michael J. Chorney, Yukinori Yoshida, Paul N. Meyer, Mika Yoshida, Glenn S. Gerhard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The HFE gene, a member of the class-I transplantation antigen gene family, is responsible for hereditary hemochromatosis, one of the most common inherited diseases in individuals of European descent. Patients exhibit predictable changes in iron homeostasis, including elevations in both transferrin saturation and serum ferritin levels. A subset of patients progress to overt clinical sequelae, resulting from iron overload. A hallmark of the disease is increased absorption of iron by the intestine. Although the HFE protein appears to modulate the function of the transferrin receptor in vitro, its precise role in vivo remains obscure. With multiple cell types involved in iron metabolism, the function of HFE is likely to be complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-125
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Molecular Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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