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Knockdown of Drosophila hemoglobin suggests a role in O2 homeostasis


Gleixner, Eva; Ripp, Fabian; Gorr, Thomas A; Schuh, Reinhard; Wolf, Christian; Burmester, Thorsten; Hankeln, Thomas (2016). Knockdown of Drosophila hemoglobin suggests a role in O2 homeostasis. Insect Biochemistry And Molecular Biology, 72:20-30.

Abstract

Almost all insects are equipped with a tracheal system, which appears to be sufficient for O2 supply even in phases of high metabolic activity. Therefore, with the exception of a few species dwelling in hypoxic habitats, specialized respiratory proteins had been considered unnecessary in insects. The recent discovery and apparently universal presence of intracellular hemoglobins in insects has remained functionally unexplained. The fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster harbors three different globin genes (referred to as glob1-3). Glob1 is the most highly expressed globin and essentially occurs in the tracheal system and the fat body. To better understand the functions of insect globins, the levels of glob1 were modulated in Drosophila larvae and adults by RNAi-mediated knockdown and transgenic over-expression. No effects on the development were observed in flies with manipulated glob1 levels. However, the knockdown of glob1 led to a significantly reduced survival rate of adult flies under hypoxia (5% and 1.5% O2). Surprisingly, the glob1 knockdown flies also displayed increased resistance towards the reactive oxygen species-forming agent paraquat, which may be explained by a restricted availability of O2 resulting in decreased formation of harmful O2(-). In summary, our results suggest an important functional role of glob1 in O2 homeostasis, possibly by enhancing O2 supply.

Abstract

Almost all insects are equipped with a tracheal system, which appears to be sufficient for O2 supply even in phases of high metabolic activity. Therefore, with the exception of a few species dwelling in hypoxic habitats, specialized respiratory proteins had been considered unnecessary in insects. The recent discovery and apparently universal presence of intracellular hemoglobins in insects has remained functionally unexplained. The fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster harbors three different globin genes (referred to as glob1-3). Glob1 is the most highly expressed globin and essentially occurs in the tracheal system and the fat body. To better understand the functions of insect globins, the levels of glob1 were modulated in Drosophila larvae and adults by RNAi-mediated knockdown and transgenic over-expression. No effects on the development were observed in flies with manipulated glob1 levels. However, the knockdown of glob1 led to a significantly reduced survival rate of adult flies under hypoxia (5% and 1.5% O2). Surprisingly, the glob1 knockdown flies also displayed increased resistance towards the reactive oxygen species-forming agent paraquat, which may be explained by a restricted availability of O2 resulting in decreased formation of harmful O2(-). In summary, our results suggest an important functional role of glob1 in O2 homeostasis, possibly by enhancing O2 supply.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Physiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IREM)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:May 2016
Deposited On:17 Nov 2016 13:05
Last Modified:20 Nov 2016 06:01
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0965-1748
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ibmb.2016.03.004
PubMed ID:27001071

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