A general map of iron metabolism and tissue-specific subnetworks

Valerie Hower, Pedro Mendes, Frank M. Torti, Reinhard Laubenbacher, Steven Akman, Vladmir Shulaev, Suzy V. Torti

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Iron is required for survival of mammalian cells. Recently, understanding of iron metabolism and trafficking has increased dramatically, revealing a complex, interacting network largely unknown just a few years ago. This provides an excellent model for systems biology development and analysis. The first step in such an analysis is the construction of a structural network of iron metabolism, which we present here. This network was created using CellDesigner version 3.5.2 and includes reactions occurring in mammalian cells of numerous tissue types. The iron metabolic network contains 151 chemical species and 107 reactions and transport steps. Starting from this general model, we construct iron networks for specific tissues and cells that are fundamental to maintaining body iron homeostasis. We include subnetworks for cells of the intestine and liver, tissues important in iron uptake and storage, respectively, as well as the reticulocyte and macrophage, key cells in iron utilization and recycling. The addition of kinetic information to our structural network will permit the simulation of iron metabolism in different tissues as well as in health and disease. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2009.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)422-443
    Number of pages21
    JournalMolecular BioSystems
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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