Steap proteins: implications for iron and copper metabolism

Nutr Rev. 2007 Jul;65(7):335-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2007.tb00311.x.


Erythroid cells of the bone marrow, the most avid consumers of iron in the body, acquire ferric (Fe3+) iron exclusively via the transferrin cycling pathway. A long-standing fundamental molecular question of how ferric iron is handled in this pathway has been recently resolved by the identification of Steap3 (sixtransmembrane epithelial antigen of the prostate 3) as an endosomal ferrireductase needed for efficient utilization of transferrin-delivered iron. Further characterization of Steap3 and other Steap proteins reveals a possible greater role of Steap proteins in iron and copper metabolism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism*
  • Copper / metabolism*
  • Erythroid Cells / enzymology*
  • Erythroid Cells / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Transferrin / metabolism


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Transferrin
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Oxidoreductases
  • STEAP1 protein, human