Characterisation of the mechanisms of gastrointestinal and hepatic iron transport in hereditary haemochromatosis [ 2003 - 2005 ]

Also known as: Iron transport in haemochromatosis

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: A/Pr Deborah Trinder (Principal investigator) ,  Evan Morgan Prof John Olynyk Prof Peter Leedman

Brief description Hereditary haemochromatosis is a very common genetic disease that affects approximately 1:200 Australians. It alters the way the body uses iron. Iron is essential for health but too much iron is toxic to the body and causes harmful damage to organs. In hereditary haemochromatosis the body absorbs too much iron from the diet and most of the extra iron goes to the liver where it may cause liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Some of the excess iron also goes to the heart, pancreas and joints where it can lead to heart failure, diabetes and arthritis, respectively. There are several types of haemochromatosis that are caused by mutations in different genes that are important in the regulation of iron metabolism. In this study we will investigate two types of haemochromatosis caused by mutations in genes called HFE and transferrin receptor 2. How defects in these genes cause iron overload is not known. We will use laboratory models that have mutations in HFE and transferrin receptor 2 genes to identify for the first time how these proteins control the amount of iron the body absorbs from the diet and how much iron to delivered to the tissues such as the liver. From this study, we will gain a better understanding of the role of HFE and transferrin receptor 2 in both normal iron metabolism and haemochromatosis. This new knowledge will provide opportunities for the development of new more effective therapies for the prevention and treatment of iron overload.

Funding Amount $AUD 474,750.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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