Author(s): Tomatsu S, Orii KO, Fleming RE, Holden CC, Waheed A,
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Abstract Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is an autosomal recessive disease characterized by iron accumulation in several organs, followed by organ damage and failure. The C282Y mutation in the HFE gene explains 80-90\% of all diagnosed cases of HH in populations of northwestern European ancestry. Targeted disruption of the mouse Hfe gene (or introduction of the murine mutation analogous to the C282Y human mutation) produces a murine model of HH. Another mutation in the HFE gene, H63D, is more prevalent than C282Y. However, the physiological consequences of the H63D mutation (as well as C282Y/H63D compound heterozygosity) on iron homeostasis are less well established. To evaluate the phenotypic consequences of the C282Y/H63D and H63D/H63D genotypes, we produced H67D (corresponding to H63D in humans) and C294Y (corresponding to C282Y in humans) knock-in mice. H67D homozygous mice, C294Y homozygous mice, and H67D/C294Y compound heterozygous mice each demonstrated hepatic iron loading. Even on a standard diet, by 10 weeks of age, hepatic iron levels in mice of these three genotypes were significantly higher than those of wild-type littermates. The relative severity of hepatic iron loading was C294Y/C294Y > C294Y/H67D > H67D/H67D. We conclude that the H67D allele, when homozygous or combined with a more consequential mutation like C294Y, leads to hepatic iron loading. These observations indicate that the H67D mutation leads to partial loss of Hfe function and can contribute to murine HH.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy