What is it about?

Ferroportin is an important iron exporting protein. Loss of ferroportin function thus leads to iron accumulation in cells. In Ferroportin Disease, iron retention in liver macrophages causes the production of red blood cells to decrease. This work shows that hinokitiol, a small molecule natural product, can mobilize iron out of macrophages and then hand it off to iron trafficking proteins, thereby treating anemia.

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Why is it important?

Iron misdistribution underlies many diseases, ranging from anemia of inflammation to neurodegenerative diseases. We show that hinokitiol is capable of redistributing iron systemically, and demonstrate a clear mechanism for this process. This work thus shows that a small molecule may be used to address a range of diseases caused by iron misdistribution.


This work is a clear demonstration of hinokitiol's ability to redistribute iron. From here on, hopefully we get to see many more diseases underlied by iron misdistribution that can be addressed by hinokitiol!

Stella Ekaputri
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A small molecule redistributes iron in ferroportin-deficient mice and patient-derived primary macrophages, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2121400119.
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