RNA-binding protein that binds to iron-responsive elements (IRES), which are stem-loop structures found in the 5'-UTR of ferritin, and delta aminolevulinic acid synthase mRNAs, and in the 3'-UTR of transferrin receptor mRNA. Binding to the IRE element in ferritin results in the repression of its mRNA translation. Binding of the protein to the transferrin receptor mRNA inhibits the degradation of this otherwise rapidly degraded mRNA.
Belongs to the aconitase/IPM isomerase family.
Ubiquitinated and degraded by the proteasome in presence of high level of iron and oxygen. Ubiquitinated by a SCF complex containing FBXL5. Upon iron and oxygen depletion FBXL5 is degraded, preventing ubiquitination and allowing its RNA-binding activity.