Regulation of plant ferritin synthesis: how and why

Cell Mol Life Sci. 1999 Oct 1;56(1-2):155-66. doi: 10.1007/s000180050014.


Plant ferritins are key iron-storage proteins that share important structural and functional similarities with animal ferritins. However, specific features characterize plant ferritins, among which are plastid cellular localization and transcriptional regulation by iron. Ferritin synthesis is developmentally and environmentally controlled, in part through the differential expression of the various members of a small gene family. Furthermore, a strict requirement for plant ferritin synthesis regulation is attested to by alterations of the photosynthetic apparatus and of iron homeostasis in transgenic tobaccos overexpressing these proteins. Plant ferritin gene regulation appears to consist of a complex interplay of transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms, involving cellular relays such as plant hormones, oxidative steps and Ser/Thr phosphatase.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chloroplasts / ultrastructure
  • Ferritins / biosynthesis*
  • Ferritins / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / ultrastructure
  • Models, Biological
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified


  • Ferritins
  • Iron