Knockdown of proteins involved in iron metabolism limits tick reproduction and development

Ondrej Hajdusek, Daniel Sojka, Petr Kopacek, Veronika Buresova, Zdenek Franta, Ivo Sauman, Joy Winzerling, Libor Grubhoffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ticks are among the most important vectors of a wide range of human and animal diseases. During blood feeding, ticks are exposed to an enormous amount of free iron that must be appropriately used and detoxified. However, the mechanism of iron metabolism in ticks is poorly understood. Here, we show that ticks possess a complex system that efficiently utilizes, stores and transports non-heme iron within the tick body. We have characterized a new secreted ferritin (FER2) and an iron regulatory protein (IRP1) from the sheep tick, Ixodes ricinus, and have demonstrated their relationship to a previously described tick intracellular ferritin (FER1). By using RNA interference-mediated gene silencing in the tick, we show that synthesis of FER1, but not of FER2, is subject to IRP1-mediated translational control. Further, we find that depletion of FER2 from the tick plasma leads to a loss of FER1 expression in the salivary glands and ovaries that normally follows blood ingestion. We therefore suggest that secreted FER2 functions as the primary transporter of non-heme iron between the tick gut and the peripheral tissues. Silencing of the fer1, fer2, and irp1 genes by RNAi has an adverse impact on hatching rate and decreases postbloodmeal weight in tick females. Importantly, knockdown of fer2 dramatically impairs the ability of ticks to feed, thus making FER2 a promising candidate for development of an efficient anti-tick vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1033-1038
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume106
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 27 2009

Fingerprint

Ticks
Reproduction
Iron
Proteins
Ferritins
RNA Interference
Iron-Regulatory Proteins
Ixodes
Animal Diseases
Gene Silencing
Salivary Glands
Ovary
Sheep
Vaccines
Eating

Keywords

  • Cytosolic aconitase
  • Ferritin
  • IRP
  • RNAi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Knockdown of proteins involved in iron metabolism limits tick reproduction and development. / Hajdusek, Ondrej; Sojka, Daniel; Kopacek, Petr; Buresova, Veronika; Franta, Zdenek; Sauman, Ivo; Winzerling, Joy; Grubhoffer, Libor.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 106, No. 4, 27.01.2009, p. 1033-1038.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hajdusek, Ondrej ; Sojka, Daniel ; Kopacek, Petr ; Buresova, Veronika ; Franta, Zdenek ; Sauman, Ivo ; Winzerling, Joy ; Grubhoffer, Libor. / Knockdown of proteins involved in iron metabolism limits tick reproduction and development. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2009 ; Vol. 106, No. 4. pp. 1033-1038.
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