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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Liver and muscle hemojuvelin are differently glycosylated

Yuzo Fujikura*, Jan Krijt and Emanuel Nečas

Author Affiliations

Institute of Pathophysiology and Center of Experimental Haematology First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague U Nemocnice 5, 12853 Prague 2, Czech Republic

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BMC Biochemistry 2011, 12:52  doi:10.1186/1471-2091-12-52

Published: 21 September 2011



Hemojuvelin (HJV) is one of essential components for expression of hepcidin, a hormone which regulates iron transport. HJV is mainly expressed in muscle and liver, and processing of HJV in both tissues is similar. However, hepcidin is expressed in liver but not in muscle and the role of the muscle HJV is yet to be established. Our preliminary analyses of mouse tissue HJV showed that the apparent molecular masses of HJV peptides are different in liver (50 kDa monomer and 35 and 20 kDa heterodimer fragments) and in muscle (55 kDa monomer and a 34 kDa possible large fragment of heterodimer). One possible explanation is glycosylation which could lead to difference in molecular mass.


We investigated glycosylation of HJV in both liver and muscle tissue from mice. PNGase F treatment revealed that the HJV large fragments of liver and muscle were digested to peptides with similar masses, 30 and 31 kDa, respectively, and the liver 20 kDa small fragment of heterodimer was digested to 16 kDa, while the 50 kDa liver and 55 kDa muscle monomers were reduced to 42 and 48 kDa, respectively. Endo H treatment produced distinct digestion profiles of the large fragment: a small fraction of the 35 kDa peptide was reduced to 33 kDa in liver, while the majority of the 34 kDa peptide was digested to 33 kDa and a very small fraction to 31 kDa in muscle. In addition, liver HJV was found to be neuraminidase-sensitive but its muscle counterpart was neuraminidase-resistant.


Our results indicate that different oligosaccharides are attached to liver and muscle HJV peptides, which may contribute to different functions of HJV in the two tissues.