Hepcidin

Hepcidin is a key iron regulatory hormone that is expressed by the liver. Hepcidin is a small peptide (25 amino acids) that negatively regulates the export of cellular iron by binding to ferroportin. Ferroportin is then ubiquitinated and degraded, so that the iron export from the enterocyte is stopped. This keeps the iron molecules within the cells until they are degraded and discarded from the body via intestinal blood loss, sloughing of intestinal cells over the faeces and skin desquamation (Anderson & Frazer, 2017, Wallace, 2016). Additionally, hepcidin can downregulate the expression of divalent metal transport 1 to downregulate iron export (Imam et al., 2017).