A new biological function of heme as a signaling molecule

Norifumi Muraki, Chihiro Kitatsuji, Shigetoshi Aono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This mini-review presents a recent development of a new function of heme as a signaling molecule especially in the regulation of gene expression. Heme is biosynthesized as a prosthetic group for heme proteins, which play crucial roles for respiration, photosynthesis, and many other metabolic reactions. In some bacteria, exogenous heme molecules are used as a heme or an iron sources to be uptaken into cytoplasm. As free heme molecules are cytotoxic, the intracellular concentrations of biosynthesized or uptaken heme should be strictly controlled. In this mini-review, we summarize the biochemical and biophysical properties of the transcriptional regulators and heme-sensor proteins responsible for these regulatory systems to maintain heme homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-20
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • heme
  • heme regulatory motif
  • sensor proteins
  • transcriptional regulator
  • two-component system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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