Malignant H1299 tumour cells preferentially internalize iron-bound inositol hexakisphosphate


In colon enterocytes and in well-differentiated colon cancer CaCo-2 cells, InsP6 (inositol hexakisphosphate) inhibits iron uptake by forming extracellular insoluble iron/InsP6 complexes. In this study, we confirmed that CaCo-2 cells are not able to take up iron/InsP6 but, interestingly, found that the cells are able to internalize metal-free and Cr3+-bound InsP6. Thus, the inability of CaCo-2 cells to take up iron/InsP6 complexes seems to be due to the iron-bound state of InsP6. Since recently we demonstrated that the highly malignant bronchial carcinoma H1299 cells internalize and process InsP6, we examined whether these cells may be able to take up iron/InsP6 complexes. Indeed, we found that InsP6 dose-dependently increased uptake of iron and demonstrated that in the iron-bound state InsP6 is more effectively internalized than in the metal-free or Cr3+-bound state, indicating that H1299 cells preferentially take up iron/InsP6 complexes. Electron microscope and cell fraction assays indicate that after uptake H1299 cells mainly stored InsP6/iron in lysosomes as large aggregates, of which about 10% have been released to the cytosol. However, this InsP6-mediated iron transport had no significant effects on cell viability. This result together with our finding that the well-differentiated CaCo-2 cells did not, but the malignant H1299 cells preferentially took up iron/InsP6, may offer the possibility to selectively transport cytotoxic substances into tumour cells.

Bibliographical data

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2013
PubMed 24050387