Chemistry and biology of ferritin

Nom de la revue
Marina Plays, Sebastian Müller, Raphaël Rodriguez

Iron is an essential element required by cells and has been described as a key player in ferroptosis. Ferritin operates as a fundamental iron storage protein in cells forming multimeric assemblies with crystalline iron cores. We discuss the latest findings on ferritin structure and activity and its link to cell metabolism and ferroptosis. The chemistry of iron, including its oxidation states, is important for its biological functions, its reactivity, and the biology of ferritin. Ferritin can be localized in different cellular compartments and secreted by cells with a variety of functions depending on its spatial context. Here, we discuss how cellular ferritin localization is tightly linked to its function in a tissue-specific manner, and how impairment of iron homeostasis is implicated in diseases, including cancer and coronavirus disease 2019. Ferritin is a potential biomarker and we discuss latest research where it has been employed for imaging purposes and drug delivery.