Arbor Free Clinic, Physician Recruitment and Staffing Coordinator
Education & Certifications
Bachelor of Science, University of California Los Angeles (2011)
Anemia of inflammation (AI) is common in patients with infection, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and chronic kidney disease. Unless the underlying condition can be reversed, treatment options are limited to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents with or without intravenous iron therapy, modalities that are not always effective and can cause serious adverse effects. Hepcidin, the iron regulatory hormone, has been identified as a pathogenic factor in the development of AI. To explore new therapeutic options for AI and other iron-related disorders caused by hepcidin excess, we developed a cell-based screen to identify hepcidin antagonists. Of the 70,000 small molecules in the library, we identified 14 compounds that antagonized the hepcidin effect on ferroportin. One of these was fursultiamine, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved thiamine derivative. Fursultiamine directly interfered with hepcidin binding to its receptor, ferroportin, by blocking ferroportin C326 thiol residue essential for hepcidin binding. Consequently, fursultiamine prevented hepcidin-induced ferroportin ubiquitination, endocytosis, and degradation in vitro and allowed continuous cellular iron export despite the presence of hepcidin, with IC(50) in the submicromolar range. Thiamine, the fursultiamine metabolite, and benfotiamine, another thiamine derivative, did not interfere with the effect of hepcidin on ferroportin. Other FDA-approved thiol-reactive compounds were at least 1000-fold less potent than fursultiamine in antagonizing hepcidin. In vivo, fursultiamine did not reproducibly antagonize the effect of hepcidin on serum iron, likely because of its rapid conversion to inactive metabolites. Fursultiamine is a unique antagonist of hepcidin in vitro that could serve as a template for the development of drug candidates that inhibit the hepcidin-ferroportin interaction.
View details for DOI 10.1124/mol.112.083428
View details for Web of Science ID 000315151900013
View details for PubMedID 23292796
Ferroportin exports iron into plasma from absorptive enterocytes, erythrophagocytosing macrophages, and hepatic stores. The hormone hepcidin controls cellular iron export and plasma iron concentrations by binding to ferroportin and causing its internalization and degradation. We explored the mechanism of hepcidin-induced endocytosis of ferroportin, the key molecular event in systemic iron homeostasis. Hepcidin binding caused rapid ubiquitination of ferroportin in cell lines overexpressing ferroportin and in murine bone marrow-derived macrophages. No hepcidin-dependent ubiquitination was observed in C326S ferroportin mutant which does not bind hepcidin. Substitutions of lysines between residues 229 and 269 in the third cytoplasmic loop of ferroportin prevented hepcidin-dependent ubiquitination and endocytosis of ferroportin, and promoted cellular iron export even in the presence of hepcidin. The human ferroportin mutation K240E, previously associated with clinical iron overload, caused hepcidin resistance in vitro by interfering with ferroportin ubiquitination. Our study demonstrates that ubiquitination is the functionally relevant signal for hepcidin-induced ferroportin endocytosis.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cmet.2012.03.018
View details for Web of Science ID 000305502000016
View details for PubMedID 22682227