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Keywords:

  • mosquito ferritin;
  • heavy-chain homologue;
  • gene regulation;
  • orientation-independent;
  • iron

Abstract

In the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti, the ferritin heavy-chain homologue (HCH) gene is induced by blood feeding. This suggests that ferritin may serve as a cytotoxic protector against the oxidative challenge of the blood meal and may be essential for the survival of the insect. In this study, various cis-acting elements for the gene were identified and mapped. Transfection assays showed that the strength and activity of a subset of these elements are orientation-dependent. The shift observed for the ferritin HCH cis-acting elements is unique among known ferritin genes. DNase I footprinting data together with Transfac analyses identified a number of putative sites known for their involvement in developmental and cell proliferation processes.