The catalytic activity of phosvitin in Fe(II) oxidation and the addition of iron to transferrin were studied under various conditions. It was concluded that the Fe(II) oxidized by phosvitin would bind to apotransferrin, although an appreciable fraction of Fe(III) remained bound to phosvitin. Fe(III) also migrated from phosvitin to apotransferrin. This reaction was first-order with respect to Fe(III)-phosvitin concentration with a half-time (t1/2) of 10 min, and a first-order rate constant, k=0.069min−1, in 700 μM-phosphate buffer, pH 7.2, at 30 degrees C. The catalysis of the oxidation of Fe(III) by phosvitin was proportional to O2 concentration, and is quite different from the relative O2 independence of Fe(II) oxidation as catalysed by ferroxidase. A scheme for the mobilization and transfer of iron in the chicken, including the role of ferroxidase, phosyitin and transferrin, is presented.

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