Browsing by Subject "Crystals"
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- ItemOpen AccessIncrease on the initial soluble heme levels in acidic conditions is an important mechanism for spontaneous heme crystallization in vitro(Public Library of Science, 2010) Stiebler, Renata; Hoang, Anh N; Egan, Timothy J; Wright, David W; Oliveira, Marcus FBACKGROUND: Hemozoin (Hz) is a heme crystal that represents a vital pathway for heme disposal in several blood-feeding organisms. Recent evidence demonstrated that β-hematin (βH) (the synthetic counterpart of Hz) formation occurs under physiological conditions near synthetic or biological hydrophilic-hydrophobic interfaces. This seems to require a heme dimer acting as a precursor of Hz crystals that would be formed spontaneously in the absence of the competing water molecules bound to the heme iron. Here, we aimed to investigate the role of medium polarity on spontaneous βH formation in vitro . METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We assessed the effect of water content on spontaneous βH formation by using the aprotic solvent dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) and a series of polyethyleneglycols (PEGs). We observed that both DMSO and PEGs (3.350, 6.000, 8.000, and 22.000) increased the levels of soluble heme under acidic conditions. These compounds were able to stimulate the production of βH crystals in the absence of any biological sample. Interestingly, the effects of DMSO and PEGs on βH formation were positively correlated with their capacity to promote previous heme solubilization in acidic conditions. Curiously, a short chain polyethyleneglycol (PEG 300) caused a significant reduction in both soluble heme levels and βH formation. Finally, both heme solubilization and βH formation strongly correlated with reduced medium water activity provided by increased DMSO concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: The data presented here support the notion that reduction of the water activity is an important mechanism to support spontaneous heme crystallization, which depends on the previous increase of soluble heme levels.
- ItemOpen AccessUnsaturated glycerophospholipids mediate heme crystallization: biological implications for hemozoin formation in the kissing bug Rhodnius prolixus(Public Library of Science, 2014) Stiebler, Renata; Majerowicz, David; Knudsen, Jens; Gondim, Katia C; Wright, David W; Egan, Timothy J; Oliveira, Marcus FHemozoin (Hz) is a heme crystal produced by some blood-feeding organisms, as an efficient way to detoxify heme derived from hemoglobin digestion. In the triatomine insect Rhodnius prolixus , Hz is essentially produced by midgut extracellular phospholipid membranes known as perimicrovillar membranes (PMVM). Here, we investigated the role of commercial glycerophospholipids containing serine, choline and ethanolamine as headgroups and R. prolixus midgut lipids (RML) in heme crystallization. All commercial unsaturated forms of phospholipids, as well as RML, mediated fast and efficient β-hematin formation by means of two kinetically distinct mechanisms: an early and fast component, followed by a late and slow one. The fastest reactions observed were induced by unsaturated forms of phosphatidylethanolamine (uPE) and phosphatidylcholine (uPC), with half-lives of 0.04 and 0.7 minutes, respectively. β-hematin crystal morphologies were strikingly distinct among groups, with uPE producing homogeneous regular brick-shaped crystals. Interestingly, uPC-mediated reactions resulted in two morphologically distinct crystal populations: one less representative group of regular crystals, resembling those induced by uPE, and the other largely represented by crystals with numerous sharp edges and tapered ends. Heme crystallization reactions induced by RML were efficient, with a heme to β-hematin conversion rate higher than 70%, but clearly slower (t1/2 of 9.9-17.7 minutes) than those induced by uPC and uPE. Interestingly, crystals produced by RML were homogeneous in shape and quite similar to those mediated by uPE. Thus, β-hematin formation can be rapidly and efficiently induced by unsaturated glycerophospholipids, particularly uPE and uPC, and may play a role on biological heme crystallization in R. prolixus midgut.