Transferrin receptor

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transferrin receptor (p90, CD71)
Symbol TFRC
Alt. symbols CD71, TFR1
Entrez 7037
HUGO 11763
OMIM 190010
RefSeq NM_003234
UniProt P02786
Other data
Locus Chr. 3 q29
transferrin receptor 2
Symbol TFR2
Alt. symbols HFE3, TFRC2
Entrez 7036
HUGO 11762
OMIM 604720
RefSeq NM_003227
UniProt Q9UP52
Other data
Locus Chr. 7 q22

Transferrin receptor (TfR) is a carrier protein for transferrin. It is needed for the import of iron into the cell and is regulated in response to intracellular iron concentration. It imports iron by internalizing the transferrin-iron complex through receptor-mediated endocytosis.[1]


Low iron concentrations promote increased levels of transferrin receptor, to increase iron intake into the cell. Thus, transferrin receptor maintains cellular iron homeostasis.

TfR production in the cell is regulated according to iron levels by iron response/regulatory element binding protein (IRE-BP), also referred to as Iron Regulatory Protein (IRP). When not bound to iron, this protein binds to the hairpin like structure (IRE) that is in the 3' UTR of the TfR receptor. Once binding occurs, degradation of mRNA of IRE is inhibited.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Qian ZM, Li H, Sun H, Ho K (December 2002). "Targeted drug delivery via the transferrin receptor-mediated endocytosis pathway". Pharmacol. Rev. 54 (4): 561–87. doi:10.1124/pr.54.4.561. PMID 12429868. ; Figure 3: The cycle of transferrin and transferrin receptor 1-mediated cellular iron uptake.

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