The effect of bacterial challenge on ferritin regulation in the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti

Dawn L. Geiser, Guoli Zhou, Jonathan J. Mayo, Joy J. Winzerling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Secreted ferritin is the major iron storage and transport protein in insects. Here, we characterize the message and protein expression profiles of yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) ferritin heavy chain homologue (HCH) and light chain homologue (LCH) subunits in response to iron and bacterial challenge. In vivo experiments demonstrated tissue-specific regulation of HCH and LCH expression over time post-blood meal (PBM). Transcriptional regulation of HCH and LCH was treatment specific, with differences in regulation for naïve versus mosquitoes challenged with heat-killed bacteria (HKB). Translational regulation by iron regulatory protein (IRP) binding activity for the iron-responsive element (IRE) was tissue-specific and time-dependent PBM. However, mosquitoes challenged with HKB showed little change in IRP/IRE binding activity compared to naïve animals. The changes in ferritin regulation and expression in vivo were confirmed with in vitro studies. We challenged mosquitoes with HKB followed by a blood meal to determine the effects on ferritin expression, and demonstrate a synergistic, time-dependent regulation of expression for HCH and LCH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-619
Number of pages19
JournalInsect Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Aedes aegypti
  • Bacteria
  • Ferritin
  • IRP
  • Iron
  • Mosquito

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Insect Science


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