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Details for messenger / hormone: hepcidin

EndoNet ID: ENH00361

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  • liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 1
  • hepcidin
  • liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide
  • LEAP-1
  • putative liver tumor regressor
  • PLTR
  • hepcidin antimicrobial peptide

General information

  • Hepcidin is active against Gram-positive (e.g. Bacillus subtilis) and Gram-negative (e.g. Neisseria cinerea) bacteria as well as yeasts (e.g. Saccharomyces cerevisiae). In addition to its antimicrobial activity, it acts as an iron regulatory hormone which negatively regulates intestinal iron absorption and macrophage iron release. [1]
  • Hepcidin is a cytokine-induced antibacterial protein which is produced in the liver, circulates in the blood, and is excreted in the urine. [2]
  • Hepcidin is expressed predominantly in liver, lower expression was detected also in kidney, heart, skeletal muscle and brain. Hepcidin expressed sequence tags (EST) were also detected in lungs, testis, stomach and pancreas. [3]
  • The encoded prepropeptide contains 84 amino acids, but only the 20-25-amino acid processed forms were found in urine. [4]
  • Hepcidins exhibited antifungal activity against Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Aspergillus niger and antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and group B Streptococcus. Hepcidin may be a vertebrate counterpart of cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides produced in the fat body of insects. [4]


Hormone function

  • immune response
    • activation

    Chemical classification

    • hormone
      • genome-encoded
        • antimicrobial peptides


    Hepcidin 25

    UniProt P81172

    Hepcidin 20

    UniProt P81172

    Links to other resources

    UniProt P81172
    Ensembl ENST00000222304
    KEGG hsa:57817
    • Anatomical structure: brain

    • Anatomical structure: kidney

    • Anatomical structure: heart

    • Anatomical structure: skeleton_muscle

    • Anatomical structure: testis

    • Anatomical structure: stomach

    • Anatomical structure: pancreas

    • Anatomical structure: hepatocyte

      • Studies in knockout mice and cell culture assays indicate that C/EBP-alpha induces and HNF4-alpha reduces hepcidin mRNA expression. [1]
      • The physiological equilibrium of hepcidin is affected by different pathologies. Elevated hepcidin levels are associated with secondary iron overload, type IV hereditary hemochromatosis(HH) and chronic infectious or inflammatory diseases resulting in "anaemia of inflammation". Decreased hepcidin levels are observed during conditions of increased iron absorption such as hypoxia, iron deficiency anaemias and in HH (type l,ll,lll) and thalassemia. [1]

      Influenced by:

      • transferrin receptor 2
        in hepatocyte
      • IL-6R
        in hepatocyte
        • Hepcidin mRNA expression can be induced in response to the inflammatory cytokine IL-6 (Interleukin-6). [1]