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Nutrients 2013, 5(5), 1622-1647; doi:10.3390/nu5051622

Iron Absorption in Drosophila melanogaster

1 School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS, UK 2 Department of Physiology, Biophysics and Neuroscience, CINVESTAV-IPN, IPN Avenue 2508, Zacatenco, 07360, Mexico City, Mexico
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 April 2013 / Revised: 3 May 2013 / Accepted: 7 May 2013 / Published: 17 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Iron and Human Health)
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The way in which Drosophila melanogaster acquires iron from the diet remains poorly understood despite iron absorption being of vital significance for larval growth. To describe the process of organismal iron absorption, consideration needs to be given to cellular iron import, storage, export and how intestinal epithelial cells sense and respond to iron availability. Here we review studies on the Divalent Metal Transporter-1 homolog Malvolio (iron import), the recent discovery that Multicopper Oxidase-1 has ferroxidase activity (iron export) and the role of ferritin in the process of iron acquisition (iron storage). We also describe what is known about iron regulation in insect cells. We then draw upon knowledge from mammalian iron homeostasis to identify candidate genes in flies. Questions arise from the lack of conservation in Drosophila for key mammalian players, such as ferroportin, hepcidin and all the components of the hemochromatosis-related pathway. Drosophila and other insects also lack erythropoiesis. Thus, systemic iron regulation is likely to be conveyed by different signaling pathways and tissue requirements. The significance of regulating intestinal iron uptake is inferred from reports linking Drosophila developmental, immune, heat-shock and behavioral responses to iron sequestration.
Keywords: metal; heme; transferrin; Dcytb; micronutrient; immunity; hemolymph; neurodegeneration; spermatogenesis; circadian rhythm metal; heme; transferrin; Dcytb; micronutrient; immunity; hemolymph; neurodegeneration; spermatogenesis; circadian rhythm
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Mandilaras, K.; Pathmanathan, T.; Missirlis, F. Iron Absorption in Drosophila melanogaster. Nutrients 2013, 5, 1622-1647.

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