Learn More
Heme is an ancient and ubiquitous molecule present in organisms of all kingdoms, composed of an atom of iron linked to four ligand groups of porphyrin. A high amount of free heme, a potential amplifier of the inflammatory response, is a characteristic feature of diseases with increased hemolysis or extensive cell damage. Here we demonstrate that heme, but(More)
Heme is present in all cells, acting as a cofactor in essential metabolic pathways such as respiration and photosynthesis. Moreover, both heme and its degradation products, CO, iron and biliverdin, have been ascribed important signaling roles. However, limited knowledge is available on the intracellular pathways involved in the flux of heme between(More)
The main protein of the hemolymph of the cattle tick Boophilus microplus has been isolated and shown to be a heme lipoprotein (HeLp). HeLp has an apparent molecular mass of 354,000 and contains two apoproteins (103 and 92 kDa) found in equal amounts. HeLp presents a pI of 5.8 and a density of 1.28 g/ml and contains 33% lipids, containing both neutral lipids(More)
The insect Rhodnius prolixus is a hematophagous hemipteran that has five nymphal instars. Fifth instar nymphs contain, in their salivary glands, four nitrophorins which have already been described in the literature (NP1, NP2, NP3 and NP4). Two new hemeproteins were isolated and partially characterized from first instar nymphs. NP2, that shows an(More)
Here we investigated H2O2 production and detoxification in the hematophagous hemiptera, Rhodnius prolixus. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) catalyzes the dismutation of superoxide radical (O2-). This reaction produces hydrogen peroxide, which is scavenged by antioxidant enzymes such as catalase (CAT). SOD and CAT activities were found in all tissues studied,(More)
The bloodsucking hemipteran Rhodnius prolixus is a vector of Chagas' disease, which affects 7-8 million people today in Latin America. In contrast to other hematophagous insects, the triatomine gut is compartmentalized into three segments that perform different functions during blood digestion. Here we report analysis of transcriptomes for each of the(More)
The presence of bacteria in the midgut of mosquitoes antagonizes infectious agents, such as Dengue and Plasmodium, acting as a negative factor in the vectorial competence of the mosquito. Therefore, knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved in the control of midgut microbiota could help in the development of new tools to reduce transmission. We(More)
Rhodnius prolixus not only has served as a model organism for the study of insect physiology, but also is a major vector of Chagas disease, an illness that affects approximately seven million people worldwide. We sequenced the genome of R. prolixus, generated assembled sequences covering 95% of the genome (∼ 702 Mb), including 15,456 putative protein-coding(More)
The yolk platelets from Rhodnius prolixus, a blood-sucking bug, are composed mostly of vitellin and here are shown to contain at least two hydrolytic enzymes, a phosphatase and a cathepsin D-like proteinase. Both the proteinase and the phosphatase have an acid pH optimum. No hydrolytic activity was observed under alkaline or neutral conditions. Among(More)