Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.456, No.1, 476-481, 2015
Aminolevulinate synthase 2 mediates erythrocyte differentiation by regulating larval globin expression during Xenopus primary hematopoiesis
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 Xakts2 might be able to synthesize hemoglobin during hematopoiesis and mediate erythrocyte differentiation by regulating hba3 expression in Xenopus laevis. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.