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Iron Metabolism in Pancreatic Beta-Cell Function and Dysfunction

Department of Excellence Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Trentacoste, 22134 Milano, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Ciro Isidoro, Danny N. Dhanasekaran and George Simos
Cells 2021, 10(11), 2841;
Received: 17 September 2021 / Revised: 15 October 2021 / Accepted: 19 October 2021 / Published: 22 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell-to-Cell Metabolic Cross-Talk in Physiology and Pathology)
Iron is an essential element involved in a variety of physiological functions. In the pancreatic beta-cells, being part of Fe-S cluster proteins, it is necessary for the correct insulin synthesis and processing. In the mitochondria, as a component of the respiratory chain, it allows the production of ATP and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that trigger beta-cell depolarization and potentiate the calcium-dependent insulin release. Iron cellular content must be finely tuned to ensure the normal supply but also to prevent overloading. Indeed, due to the high reactivity with oxygen and the formation of free radicals, iron excess may cause oxidative damage of cells that are extremely vulnerable to this condition because the normal elevated ROS production and the paucity in antioxidant enzyme activities. The aim of the present review is to provide insights into the mechanisms responsible for iron homeostasis in beta-cells, describing how alteration of these processes has been related to beta-cell damage and failure. Defects in iron-storing or -chaperoning proteins have been detected in diabetic conditions; therefore, the control of iron metabolism in these cells deserves further investigation as a promising target for the development of new disease treatments.
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Keywords: Iron metabolism; beta-cell function; reactive oxygen species; diabetes Iron metabolism; beta-cell function; reactive oxygen species; diabetes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Marku, A.; Galli, A.; Marciani, P.; Dule, N.; Perego, C.; Castagna, M. Iron Metabolism in Pancreatic Beta-Cell Function and Dysfunction. Cells 2021, 10, 2841.

AMA Style

Marku A, Galli A, Marciani P, Dule N, Perego C, Castagna M. Iron Metabolism in Pancreatic Beta-Cell Function and Dysfunction. Cells. 2021; 10(11):2841.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Marku, Algerta, Alessandra Galli, Paola Marciani, Nevia Dule, Carla Perego, and Michela Castagna. 2021. "Iron Metabolism in Pancreatic Beta-Cell Function and Dysfunction" Cells 10, no. 11: 2841.

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