Heme is a prosthetic group comprising ferrous iron (Fe2+) and protoporphyrin IX and is an essential cofactor in various biological processes such as oxygen transport (hemoglobin) and storage (myoglobin) and electron transfer (respiratory cytochromes) in addition to its role as a structural component of hemoproteins. Heme biosynthesis is induced during erythroid differentiation and is coordinated with the expression of genes involved in globin formation and iron acquisition/transport. However, erythroid and nonerythroid cells exhibit distinct differences in the heme biosynthetic pathway regulation. Defects of heme biosynthesis in developing erythroblasts can have profound medical implications, as represented by sideroblastic anemia. This review will focus on the biology of heme in mammalian erythroid cells, including the heme biosynthetic pathway as well as the regulatory role of heme and human disorders that arise from defective heme synthesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)