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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The relationship of intracellular iron chelation to the inhibition and regeneration of human ribonucleotide reductase.

The depletion of cellular iron can lead to the inhibition of ribonucleotide reductase, preventing new DNA synthesis and hence inhibiting cell proliferation. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy has been used to examine simultaneously for the first time the relationship between chelation of intracellular iron and the rate of removal and regeneration of the tyrosyl radical of ribonucleotide reductase within intact human leukemia K562 cells. The different physiochemical characteristics of relatively hydrophobic low molecular weight bidentate hydroxypyridinone chelators and the higher molecular weight hexadentate ferrioxamine have been exploited to elucidate these interactions further. The base-line concentration of EPR-detectable mononuclear nonheme iron complexes was 3.15 =/- 1.05 microM, rising on incubation with chelators more rapidly with hydroxypyridinones than with desferrioxamine. Hydroxypyridinones also removed the tyrosyl radical more rapidly, apparently as a consequence of depletion of the intracellular iron pools necessary to regenerate the active enzyme and compatible with their reportedly greater cell toxicity. The radical decay rate is consistent with previous models, suggesting that iron is spontaneously removed from mammalian ribonucleotide reductase. Upon removal of extracellular chelator the regeneration of the tyrosyl radical was significantly faster for hydroxypyridinones than for desferrioxamine, consistent with their differential effects on cell cycle synchronization.[1]


  1. The relationship of intracellular iron chelation to the inhibition and regeneration of human ribonucleotide reductase. Cooper, C.E., Lynagh, G.R., Hoyes, K.P., Hider, R.C., Cammack, R., Porter, J.B. J. Biol. Chem. (1996) [Pubmed]
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