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Iron transport and storage
This unit looks at the methods that have been developed by organisms for the uptake,...
This unit looks at the methods that have been developed by organisms for the uptake, transport and storage of iron: a process made more complicated by the insolubility of its oxides and hydroxides. You will examine iron storage in mammals, including humans, is achieved by ferritin, which stores iron as a hydrated iron (III) oxide – an example of biomineralisation.
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
- describe some of the biochemical methods by which organisms uptake iron;
- describe some of the biochemical processes by which organisms store and transfer iron;
- explain why iron is present only in very low concentrations in aqueous solution;
- use aspects of iron(III) chemistry to explain the role of macrocyclic ligands in iron uptake and transfer.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 How do organisms acquire iron?
- 2 Principles of iron chemistry
- 3 Iron uptake by organisms
- 4 Iron transport and storage
- 5 Summary of unit
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Iron transport and storage
In this unit we will see that, despite having a high natural abundance, iron is in very short supply because of the insolubility of its oxides and hydroxides. A result of this is that organisms have developed methods for the uptake, transport and storage of iron. For example, iron storage in mammals, including humans, is achieved by ferritin, which stores iron as a hydrated iron(III) oxide – an example of biomineralisation.
This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Inorganic chemistry (S343) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Chemistry courses or view the range of currently available OU Chemistry courses.
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Originally published: Wednesday, 30th March 2011
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