Special Issue "The Pathophysiology of Heme"

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sara Petrillo
Guest Editor
Molecular Biotechnology Center, Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences, University of Torino, via Nizza 52, Torino, Italy
Interests: heme metabolism; vascular biology
Prof. Emanuela Tolosano
Co-Guest Editor
Molecular Biotechnology Center, Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences, University of Torino, via Nizza 52, Torino, Italy
Interests: heme and iron metabolism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Heme, an iron-containing porphyrin, is required in all our cells. As a co-factor in hemoproteins, heme participates in several essential biological processes, such as oxygen transport, mitochondrial respiration, and drug metabolism. Moreover, the heme molecule itself exhibits regulatory activities, covering a broad spectrum of cellular functions such as micro-RNA processing, transcription and translation of target genes, and the regulation of the circadian rhythm. As such, alterations in heme homeostasis, which can lead to aberrant intracellular or extracellular heme concentrations, are extremely harmful for cells and organs. Heme toxicity is mainly related to heme-derived iron, whose uncontrolled reactivity promotes the formation of hydroxyl radicals through the Fenton reactions. Nevertheless, unbalanced intracellular heme levels—which can result from alterations in heme synthesis, heme degradation, or heme transport through cell membranes—could potentially interfere with all the above-mentioned biological processes, independently from or in addition to the oxidative damage. Importantly, growing evidence highlights the critical involvement of heme in a wide range of human diseases such as neuronal system disorders, infections, hemolytic diseases, and cancer.

The present Special Issue invites original research papers and reviews that aim to unravel the role of heme (1) in the regulation of physiological processes essential for cell and organ homeostasis, as well as (2) its role in the pathogenesis or in the pathologic outcomes of human diseases.

Dr. Sara Petrillo
Prof. Emanuela Tolosano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biology is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • heme
  • heme metabolism
  • hemoproteins
  • heme transport mechanisms
  • heme synthesis
  • heme oxygenase
  • oxidative stress
  • heme deficiency
  • heme overload

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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