Research group overview
Evidence suggests that estrogen can manipulates iron metabolism through its ability to upregulate / downregulate the synthesis of the peptide hormone hepcidin. Expression of the intracellular iron effluxing protein ferroportin (FPN) is negatively regulated by hepcidin; increased hepcidin synthesis induces its internalization and degradation and decreased hepcidin synthesis maintains its integrity as a plasma membrane-bound protein. Therefore, it is possible that estrogen contributes to the regulation/dysregulation of intracellular as well as system iron homeostasis. Collectively, this speaks of an estrogen-iron axis that could be involved in various aspects of human physiology and pathophysiology. The main focus of the iron biology group is to understand the molecular basis of this effect of estrogen and to evaluate its bearing on the onset/progression of diseases such as cancer, diabetes mellitus, and autoimmunity among others. A better understanding of the molecular interactions underlying this estrogen-iron axis has the potential to lead to novel therapeutic approaches.