A cytochrome b561 with ferric reductase activity from the parasitic blood fluke, Schistosoma japonicum

Amber Glanfield, Donald P. Mcmanus, Danielle J. Smyth, Erica M. Lovas, Alex Loukas, Geoffrey N. Gobert, Malcolm K. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Iron has an integral role in numerous cellular reactions and is required by virtually all organisms. In physiological conditions, iron is abundant in a largely insoluble ferric state. Ferric reductases are an essential component of iron uptake by cells, reducing iron to the soluble ferrous form. Cytochromes b561 (cyts-b561) are a family of ascorbate reducing transmembrane proteins found in most eukaryotic cells. The identification of the ferric reductase duodenal cytochrome b (dcytb) and recent observations that other cyts-b561 may be involved in iron metabolism have opened novel perspectives for elucidating their physiological function. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here we have identified a new member of the cytochrome b561 (Sjcytb561) family in the pathogenic blood fluke Schistosoma japonicum that localises to the outer surface of this parasitic trematode. Heterologous expression of recombinant Sjcyt-b561 in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutant strain that lacks plasma membrane ferrireductase activity demonstrated that the molecule could rescue ferric reductase activity in the yeast. Significance/Conclusions: This finding of a new member of the cytochrome b561 family further supports the notion that a ferric reductase function is likely for other members of this protein family. Additionally, the localisation of Sjcytb561 in the surface epithelium of these blood-dwelling schistosomes contributes further to our knowledge concerning nutrient acquisition in these parasites and may provide novel targets for therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere884
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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