Regulatory Effects of Cu, Zn, and Ca on Fe Absorption: The Intricate Play between Nutrient Transporters
Journal article, 2013
Iron is an essential nutrient for almost every living organism because it is required in a number of biological processes that serve to maintain life. In humans, recycling of senescent erythrocytes provides most of the daily requirement of iron. In addition, we need to absorb another 1-2 mg Fe from the diet each day to compensate for losses due to epithelial sloughing, perspiration, and bleeding. Iron absorption in the intestine is mainly regulated on the enterocyte level by effectors in the diet and systemic regulators accessing the enterocyte through the basal lamina. Recently, a complex meshwork of interactions between several trace metals and regulatory proteins was revealed. This review focuses on advances in our understanding of Cu, Zn, and Ca in the regulation of iron absorption. Ascorbate as an important player is also considered.