This page covers the topic of bilirubin metabolism.
STEPS IN THE BLOOD/SERUM
1.) Processing heme:
Erythrocyte destruction causes the release of iron containing heme molecules. The enzyme heme oxygenase (found in macrophages and other cells) will convert heme into biliverdin + carbon monoxide + ferrous iron. Oxygen and electrons (provided by NADH and NADPH-cytochorme P450 reductase) are consumed for this reaction.
2.) Making unconjugated bilirubin
The enzyme biliverdin reductase will convert biliverdin into unconjugated bilirubin. This is bound to albumin and transported to the liver.
STEPS IN THE LVIER
3.) Making conjugated bilirubin
In the liver the unconjguated bilirubin is conjugated by the enzyme glucuronyl transferase.
Page Updated: 05.04.2017