Competition for Iron

Author: Gianpiero Pescarmona
Date: 06/10/2008


Siderophores (Greek: "iron carrier") are high-affinity iron chelating compounds secreted by living organisms to selectively catch iron from the environment decreasing its availability for competitors.

Siderophores cycle

Bacterial Siderophores

deferoxamine mesilate

Human Siderophores

Human Siderophores are proteins that can be taken up by endosomes to release iron and eventually to be digested.




Plants Ions Chelators

To protect itself from parasites plants developed different types of iron chelators:

  • Phytic acid (known as inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6), or phytate when in salt form) is the principal storage form of phosphorus in many plant tissues, especially bran and seeds. It is also able to chelate bivalent ions like Ca++ or Fe++
  • Quercetin and similar molecules

Chemical Ions Chelators

  • Asbestos


a deeper insight

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