Journal article

Haem Biology in Metazoan Parasites - 'The Bright Side of Haem'

Jan Perner, Robin B Gasser, Pedro L Oliveira, Petr Kopacek



Traditionally, host haem has been recognized as a cytotoxic molecule that parasites need to eliminate or detoxify in order to survive. However, recent evidence indicates that some lineages of parasites have lost genes that encode enzymes involved specifically in endogenous haem biosynthesis. Such lineages thus need to acquire and utilize haem originating from their host animal, making it an indispensable molecule for their survival and reproduction. In multicellular parasites, host haem needs to be systemically distributed throughout their bodies to meet the haem demands in all cell and tissue types. Host haem also gets deposited in parasite eggs, enabling embryogenesis and reproduction. Cle..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Czech Science Foundation

Awarded by Centre for research of pathogenicity and virulence of parasites - European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

Awarded by Czech Academy of Sciences

Funding Acknowledgements

J.P. and P.K. are supported by the Czech Science Foundation grant no. 18-01832S and by the Centre for research of pathogenicity and virulence of parasites (no. CZ. 02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000759) funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MEYS). J.P. is additionally supported by Czech Academy of SciencesMSM200961802. R.B.G.'s research is supported mainly by the Australian Research Council (ARC), the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Melbourne Water Corporation and Yourgene Bioscience. P.L.O. is supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq), Fundacao Carlos Chagas and Filho de Amparo a Pesquisa de Estado do Rio de Janeiro and Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FiNEP). We also thank Martina Hajduskova ( for the graphical design of figures.