Stefania Recalcati, Elena Gammella, Gaetano Cairo Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy Abstract: Oxygen and iron are two elements closely related from a (bio)chemical point of view. Moreover, they share the characteristic of being indispensable for life, while also being potentially toxic. Therefore, their level is strictly monitored, and sophisticated pathways have evolved to face variations in either element. In addition, the expression of proteins involved in iron and oxygen metabolism is mainly controlled by a complex interplay of proteins that sense both iron levels and oxygen availability (ie, prolyl hydroxylases, hypoxia inducible factors, and iron regulatory proteins), and in turn activate feedback mechanisms to re-establish homeostasis. In this review, we describe how cells and organisms utilize these intricate networks to regulate responses to changes in oxygen and iron levels. We also explore the role of these pathways in some pathophysiological settings. Keywords: hypoxia, prolyl hydroxylases, hypoxia inducible factors, iron regulatory proteins, proteasom
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