Iron-fortified recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae producing Sus scrofa ferritin heavy-chain recovers iron deficiency in mice

  • Lim, Hwan (College of Veterinary Medicine, Kangwon National University) ;
  • Kim, Jong-Taek (College of Veterinary Medicine, Kangwon National University) ;
  • Kim, Myoung-Dong (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Kangwon National University) ;
  • Rhee, Ki-Jong (Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, College of Health Sciences, Yonsei University) ;
  • Jung, Bae Dong (College of Veterinary Medicine, Kangwon National University)
  • Received : 2012.07.04
  • Accepted : 2012.11.16
  • Published : 2012.12.31


In this study, we produced iron-fortified yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) producing Sus scrofa ferritin heavy-chain to provide iron supplementation in anemic piglets. We determined whether iron-ferritin accumulated in recombinant yeasts could improve iron deficiency in mice. C57BL/6 male mice exposed to Fe-deficient diet for 2 weeks were given a single dose of ferrous ammonium sulfate (FAS), ferritin-producing recombinant yeast (APO), or APO reacted with iron ($Fe^{2+}$) (FER). The bioavailability of recombinant yeasts was examined by measuring body weight gain, hemoglobin concentration and hematocrit value 1 week later. In addition, ferritin protein levels were evaluated by western blot analysis and iron stores in tissues were measured by inductively coupled plasma spectrometer. We found that anemic mice treated with FER exhibited increased levels of ferritin heavy-chain in spleen and liver. Consistently, this treatment restored the iron concentration in these tissues. In addition, this treatment significantly increased hemoglobin value and the hematocrit ratio. Furthermore, FER treatment significantly enhanced body weight gain. These results suggest that the iron-fortified recombinant yeast strain is bioavailable.


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