The unique regulation of Aedes aegypti larval cell ferritin by iron

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Mosquitoes must blood feed in order to complete their life cycle. The blood meal provides a high level of iron that is required for egg development. We are interested in developing control strategies that interfere with this process. We report the temporal effects of iron exposure on iron metabolism of Aedes aegypti larval cells. These cells take up iron in linear relationship to exposure time and distribute the iron primarily to the membranes. Iron uptake increases cytoplasmic, membrane and secreted ferritin. Membrane ferritin is abundant in cells treated with iron, increases in cells in the absence of iron exposure and is associated with the secretory pathway. Our data suggest that in contrast to mammals, mosquitoes control intracellular iron levels by producing membrane ferritin in anticipation of an iron load such as that provided by a blood meal and support the hypothesis that secreted ferritin is a primary iron storage protein for these animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-429
Number of pages12
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Aedes aegypti mosquito
  • Ferritin
  • Iron metabolism
  • Iron regulatory protein 1
  • Secretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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