Well-controlled iron levels are indispensable for health. Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia, whereas iron overload, either hereditary or secondary to disorders of ineffective erythropoiesis, can lead to wide-spread organ failure.
Bone is particularly sensitive to fluctuations in systemic iron levels as both iron deficiency and overload are associated with low bone mineral density and fractures.
Therefore, the FerrOs consortium aims to
Investigate mechanisms of iron sensing
Analyze how iron and iron-regulatory proteins affect bone metabolism
Elucidate whether shared pathways may be suitable for the concurrent treatment of iron and bone disorders.
To that end, FerrOs integrates experts on bone homeostasis and systemic iron sensing to tackle these aims.
We will focus on proteins of systemic iron homeostasis including hereditary hemochromatosis proteins and proteins of the BMP signalling family. With this coordinated and holistic approach we aim to dissect mechanisms of liver-bone crosstalk in iron handling, provide novel insights into iron-related bone disorders, and pave the way for novel therapeutic concepts.