Horse ferritins from different organs show heterogeneity on electrofocusing in Ampholine gradients. Both ferritin and apoferritin from liver and spleen could be fractionated with respect to surface charge by serial precipitation with (NH4)2SO4. In the ferritin fractions, increasing iron content parallels increasing isoelectric point. After removal of their iron, those fractions which originally contained most iron accumulated added iron at the fastest rates. When unfractionated ferritins from different organs were compared the average isoelectric point increased in order spleen less than liver less than kidney less than heart. The order of initial rates of iron uptake by the apoferritins was spleen greater than kidney greater than heart and initial average iron contents also followed this order. The relatively low rates of iron accumulation by iron-poor molecules may have been due to structural alteration, to degradation, to activation of the iron-rich molecules or to other factors.
- © 1978 London: The Biochemical Society