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Biochem Biophys Res Commun January 2, 2015; 456 (1): 476-81.

Aminolevulinate synthase 2 mediates erythrocyte differentiation by regulating larval globin expression during Xenopus primary hematopoiesis.

Ogawa-Otomo A , Kurisaki A , Ito Y .

Hemoglobin synthesis by erythrocytes continues throughout a vertebrate''s lifetime. The mechanism of mammalian heme synthesis has been studied for many years; aminolevulinate synthase 2 (ALAS2), a heme synthetase, is associated with X-linked dominant protoporphyria in humans. Amphibian and mammalian blood cells differ, but little is known about amphibian embryonic hemoglobin synthesis. We investigated the function of the Xenopus alas2 gene (Xalas2) in primitive amphibian erythrocytes and found that it is first expressed in primitive erythroid cells before hemoglobin alpha 3 subunit (hba3) during primary hematopoiesis and in the posterior ventral blood islands at the tailbud stage. Xalas2 is not expressed during secondary hematopoiesis in the dorsal lateral plate. Hemoglobin was barely detectable by o-dianisidine staining and hba3 transcript levels decreased in Xalas2-knockdown embryos. These results suggest that Xalas2 might be able to synthesize hemoglobin during hematopoiesis and mediate erythrocyte differentiation by regulating hba3 expression in Xenopus laevis.

PubMed ID: 25482442
Article link: Biochem Biophys Res Commun

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: alas2 hba3 tal1
Morpholinos: alas2 MO1 alas2 MO2

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