Three 59Fe-labeled nonheme components of the cytosol were identified when rabbit reticuloyctes were incubated with 59Fe-labeled plasma under conditions in which the iron supply was not limiting. Two of these components were identified as ferritin and transferrin. The latter was characterized by gel filtration as having apparent molecular weight higher than transferrin, indicating that the transferrin may be complexed to another moiety. The third component, referred to as iron- binding protein-I (IBP-I), is as yet uncharacterized. When the reticulocytes were incubated with unlabeled plasma after pulse-labeling with 59Fe-labeled plasma, 59Fe radioactivity in these cytosol components decreased; after 15 min of chase, the 59Fe in ferritin, transferrin, and IBP-I fell to 64.6%, 26.5%, and 65.8% of the initial values, respectively. A good correlation existed between the decrease of 59Fe in these three nonheme compartments and the associated increase in 59Fe-heme. The data presented suggest that cytosol ferritin, transferrin, and IBP-I are intermediates in the transport of 59Fe from the plasma membrane to the mitochondria.

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