The features of hemochromatosis include cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, hypermelanotic pigmentation of the skin, and heart failure. Since hemochromatosis is a relatively easily treated disorder if diagnosed, this is a form of preventable cancer. The HFE protein, which is defective in hereditary hemo-chromatosis, normally is expressed in crypt enterocytes of the duodenum where it has a unique, predominantly intracellular localization. In placenta, the HFE protein co-localizes with and forms a stable association with the transferrin receptor (TfR), providing a link between the HFE protein and iron transport. Immunocytochemistry shows that the HFE protein and TfR both are expressed in the crypt enterocytes. Western blots show that, as is the case in human placenta, the HFE protein in crypt enterocytes is physically associated with the TfR and with i²2-microglobulin. It is proposed that HFE has two mutually exclusive activities in cells: inhibition of uptake or inhibition of release of iron and that the balance between serum transferrin saturation and serum transferrin-receptor concentrations determines which of these functions predominates. The gene which encodes HFE maps to human chromosome 6p21.3.
Subcellular location: Extracellular
Synonyms: dJ221C16.10.1, Hemochromatosis, Hemochromatosis protein, Hereditary hemochromatosis protein, Hereditary hemochromatosis protein HLA H, HFE 1, HFE, HFE_HUMAN, HFE1, HH, High Fe, HLA H, HLA-H, HLAH, MGC:150812, MGC10379, MGC103790, MHC class I like protein HFE, MVCD7, TFQTL2.