Modulation of iron on mitochondrial aconitase expression in human prostatic carcinoma cells

Horng Heng Juang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

17 Scopus citations


The mitochondrial aconitase (mACON) containing a [4Fe-4S] cluster is regarded as the key enzyme for citrate oxidation in the epithelial cells of human prostate. In vitro studies using the human prostatic carcinoma cells, PC-3 cells, found that both hemin and ferric ammonium citrate (FAC) significantly increased mACON enzymatic activity and gene expression. The effect of FAC on mACON was enhanced 2-fold by co-treating with ascorbic acid but blocked by co-treating with iron chelator, deferoxamine mesylate. Hemin treatments blocked 30% of citrate secretion from PC-3 cells but upregulated 2-fold of intracellular ATP biosynthesis. Results from reporter assay by using a cytomegalovirus enhance/promoter driven luciferase mRNA ligated to the iron response element (IRE) of mACON as a reporter construct demonstrated that modulation of FAC on gene translation of mACON gene is dependent on the IRE. Transient gene expression assays indicated that upregulation of mACON gene transcription by FAC may through the putative antioxidant response element (ARE) signal pathway. This study provides the first evidence of the biologic mechanism of human mACON gene translation/transcription and suggests a regulatory link between the energy utilization and the iron metabolism in human prostatic carcinoma cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-194
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2004


  • ATP
  • Citrate
  • Deferoxamine mesylate
  • FAC
  • Hemin
  • IRE
  • Transferrin


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