logo logo
NCOA4 is regulated by HIF and mediates mobilization of murine hepatic iron stores after blood loss. Li Xiuqi,Lozovatsky Larisa,Sukumaran Abitha,Gonzalez Luis,Jain Anisha,Liu Dong,Ayala-Lopez Nadia,Finberg Karin E Blood The mechanisms by which phlebotomy promotes the mobilization of hepatic iron stores are not well understood. NCOA4 (nuclear receptor coactivator 4) is a widely expressed intracellular protein previously shown to mediate the autophagic degradation of ferritin. Here, we investigate a local requirement for NCOA4 in the regulation of hepatic iron stores and examine mechanisms of NCOA4 regulation. Hepatocyte-targeted Ncoa4 knockdown in nonphlebotomized mice had only modest effects on hepatic ferritin subunit levels and nonheme iron concentration. After phlebotomy, mice with hepatocyte-targeted Ncoa4 knockdown exhibited anemia and hypoferremia similar to control mice with intact Ncoa4 regulation but showed a markedly impaired ability to lower hepatic ferritin subunit levels and hepatic nonheme iron concentration. This impaired hepatic response was observed even when dietary iron was limited. In both human and murine hepatoma cell lines, treatment with chemicals that stabilize hypoxia inducible factor (HIF), including desferrioxamine, cobalt chloride, and dimethyloxalylglycine, raised NCOA4 messenger RNA. This NCOA4 messenger RNA induction occurred within 3 hours, preceded a rise in NCOA4 protein, and was attenuated in the setting of dual HIF-1α and HIF-2α knockdown. In summary, we show for the first time that NCOA4 plays a local role in facilitating iron mobilization from the liver after blood loss and that HIF regulates NCOA4 expression in cells of hepatic origin. Because the prolyl hydroxylases that regulate HIF stability are oxygen- and iron-dependent enzymes, our findings suggest a novel mechanism by which hypoxia and iron deficiency may modulate NCOA4 expression to impact iron homeostasis. 10.1182/blood.2020006321