Extrahepatic deficiency of transferrin receptor 2 is associated with increased erythropoiesis independent of iron overload

Aaron M. Wortham, Devorah C. Goldman, Juxing Chen, William H. Fleming, An Sheng Zhang, Caroline A. Enns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Transferrin receptor 2 (TFR2) is a transmembrane protein expressed mainly in hepatocytes and in developing erythroid cells and is an important focal point in systemic iron regulation. Loss of TFR2 function results in a rare form of the iron-overload disease hereditary hemochromatosis. Although TFR2 in the liver has been shown to be important for regulating iron homeostasis in the body, TFR2's function in erythroid progenitors remains controversial. In this report, we analyzed TFR2-deficient mice in the presence or absence of iron overload to distinguish between the effects caused by a high iron load and those caused by loss of TFR2 function. Analysis of bone marrow from TFR2-deficient mice revealed a reduction in the early burst-forming unit- erythroid and an expansion of late-stage erythroblasts that was independent of iron overload. Spleens of TFR2-deficient mice displayed an increase in colony-forming unit- erythroid progenitors and in all erythroblast populations regardless of iron overload. This expansion of the erythroid compartment coincided with increased erythroferrone (ERFE) expression and serum erythropoietin (EPO) levels. Rescue of hepatic TFR2 expression normalized hepcidin expression and the total cell count of the bone marrow and spleen, but it had no effect on erythroid progenitor frequency. On the basis of these results, we propose a model of TFR2's function in murine erythropoiesis, indicating that deficiency in this receptor is associated with increased erythroid development and expression of EPO and ERFE in extrahepatic tissues independent of TFR's role in the liver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3906-3917
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 20 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Extrahepatic deficiency of transferrin receptor 2 is associated with increased erythropoiesis independent of iron overload'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this