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During erythropoiesis, there is an enormous demand for the synthesis of the essential cofactor of hemoglobin, heme. Heme is synthesized de novo via an eight enzyme-catalyzed pathway within each developing erythroid cell. A large body of data exists to explain the transcriptional regulation of the heme biosynthesis enzymes, but until recently much less was known about alternate forms of regulation that would allow the massive production of heme without depleting cellular metabolites. Herein, we review new studies focused on the regulation of heme synthesis via carbon flux for porphyrin synthesis to post-translations modifications (PTMs) that regulate individual enzymes. These PTMs include cofactor regulation, phosphorylation, succinylation, and glutathionylation. Additionally discussed is the role of the immunometabolite itaconate and its connection to heme synthesis and the anemia of chronic disease. These recent studies provide new avenues to regulate heme synthesis for the treatment of diseases including anemias and porphyrias.


Amy E Medlock, Harry A Dailey. New Avenues of Heme Synthesis Regulation. International journal of molecular sciences. 2022 Jul 05;23(13)

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PMID: 35806474

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