On the physico-chemical and physiological requirements of hemozoin formation promoted by perimicrovillar membranes in Rhodnius prolixus midgut

Renata Stiebler, Bruno L. Timm, Pedro L. Oliveira, Giovanni R. Hearne, Timothy J. Egan, Marcus F. Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Triatomine insects are obligatory blood-feeders that detoxify most of the hemoglobin-derived heme through its crystallization into hemozoin (Hz). Previous evidence demonstrates the key role of midgut perimicrovillar membranes (PMVM) on heme crystallization in triatomines. Here, we investigated some of the physico-chemical and physiological aspects of heme crystallization induced by Rhodnius prolixus PMVM. Hz formation in vitro proceeded optimally at pH 4.8 and 28 °C, apparently involving three kinetically distinct mechanisms along this process. Furthermore, the insect feeding status and age affected PMVM-induced heme crystallization whereas pharmacological blockage of PMVM formation by azadirachtin, reduced hemoglobin digestion and Hz formation in vivo. Mössbauer spectrometry analyses of R. prolixus midgut showed that Hz represents the only measurable iron species found four days after a blood meal. Autocatalytic heme crystallization to Hz is revealed to be an inefficient process and this conversion is further reduced as the Hz concentration increases. Also, PMVM-derived lipids were able to induce rapid Hz formation, regardless of the diet composition. These results indicate that PMVM-driven Hz formation in R. prolixus midgut occurs at physiologically relevant physico-chemical conditions and that lipids derived from this structure play an important role in heme crystallization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-292
Number of pages9
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

Keywords

  • Biocrystallization
  • Plasmodium
  • Schistosoma
  • Trypanosoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science

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