Ch

h2c ch2

OOC COO-

Figure 1 Heme (ferroprotoporphyrin 9).

is sensitive to iron concentrations. When iron is abundant, the aconitase enzyme assumes the full iron-sulfur cubic structure that is associated with carbohydrate metabolism. However, when iron concentrations are reduced, the protein loses aconitase activity and functions as an iron binding protein (IRP). IRPs interact with iron response elements (IREs) of the mRNA to regulate the synthesis of proteins involved with iron transport, storage, and use, in response to changes in cellular iron concentrations.

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