Dcytb (duodenal cytochrome b) is an iron-regulated ferric reductase highly expressed in duodenal enterocytes. Its location and strong regulation by iron has indicated it plays an important role in iron absorption. Expression of Dcytb in cells (Caco-2 and MDCK) was found to increase both ferric reductase activity and stimulate uptake of 59Fe. An additional increase in cupric reductase activity was found in MDCK (Madin–Darby canine kidney) cells expressing Dcytb. Expression and purification of Dcytb in insect cells reveals that Dcytb is a di-haem protein and that the haems are reducible by ascorbate, indicating that ascorbate is the likely intracelluar electron donor. Studies underway in Dcytb-knockout mice reveal that Dcytb is the only iron-regulated ferric reductase in the duodenal mucosa and that loss of Dcytb affects iron absorption.

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