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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology