Hemochromatosis and Ferritin
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Subjectbiochemistry; Iron overload; Iron storage; Free radical formation; Transferrin; Ferroxidase Center; HuHF; EcftnA
The importance of iron in living systems cannot be overestimated. If iron is not managed efficiently, the aftermath could be catastrophic. My research project focused on understanding the structure and function of a major iron binding and storage protein called “Ferritin”. Because of its ubiquitous presence and involvement in iron balance, ferritin plays a key role in a multitude of human iron-related diseases such as hemochromatosis, anemia and a number of cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. These iron-related problems are mainly caused by the 'corrosive chemistry' of iron and oxygen. The World Health Organization estimates some 80% of the World's population (some five billion plus people) are afflicted with iron-related diseases. Thus, investigating the iron uptake and release by ferritin is a crucial step to understanding the underlying reasons of these diseases at the molecular level. The ultimate goal is to design drug molecules that would extract or deliver iron efficiently and thus treat these devastating diseases.
Powerpoint slides describing a research project prepared for the Presidential Scholars Presentation Series, April 29, 2010. Advisor: Fadi Bou-Abdallah, Chemistry Department.