1. Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
  2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
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Acquisition of exogenous haem is essential for tick reproduction

  1. Jan Perner
  2. Roman Sobotka
  3. Radek Sima
  4. Jitka Konvickova
  5. Daniel Sojka
  6. Pedro Lagerblad de Oliveira
  7. Ondrej Hajdusek
  8. Petr Kopacek  Is a corresponding author
  1. Biology Centre CAS, Czech Republic
  2. Institute of Microbiology CAS, Czech Republic
  3. Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Research Article
  • Cited 28
  • Views 2,557
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Cite this article as: eLife 2016;5:e12318 doi: 10.7554/eLife.12318

Abstract

Haem and iron homeostasis in most eukaryotic cells is based on a balanced flux between haem biosynthesis and haem oxygenase-mediated degradation.Unlike most eukaryotes, ticks possess an incomplete haem biosynthetic pathway and, together with other (non-haematophagous) mites, lack a gene encoding haem oxygenase. We demonstrated, by membrane feeding, that ticks do not acquire bioavailable iron from haemoglobin-derived haem. However, ticks require dietary haemoglobin as an exogenous source of haem since, feeding with haemoglobin-depleted serum led to aborted embryogenesis. Supplementation of serum with haemoglobin fully restored egg fertility. Surprisingly, haemoglobin could be completely substituted by serum proteins for the provision of amino-acids in vitellogenesis. Acquired haem is distributed by haemolymph carrier protein(s) and sequestered by vitellins in the developing oocytes.This work extends, substantially, current knowledge of haem auxotrophy in ticks and underscores the importance of haem and iron metabolism as rational targets for anti-tick interventions.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Jan Perner

    Biology Centre CAS, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Roman Sobotka

    Institute of Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology CAS, Trebon, Czech Republic
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Radek Sima

    Biology Centre CAS, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Jitka Konvickova

    Biology Centre CAS, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Daniel Sojka

    Biology Centre CAS, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Pedro Lagerblad de Oliveira

    Instituto de Bioquímica Médica Leopoldo de Meis, Programa de Biologia Molecular e Biotecnologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Ondrej Hajdusek

    Biology Centre CAS, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Petr Kopacek

    Biology Centre CAS, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
    For correspondence
    kopajz@paru.cas.cz
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All laboratory animals were treated in accordancewith the Animal Protection Law of the Czech Republic No. 246/1992 Sb., ethics approval No.095/2012.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Utpal Pal, University of Maryland, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: October 15, 2015
  2. Accepted: March 3, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: March 7, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: March 24, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2016, Perner et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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