Ferroptosis precedes apoptosis to facilitate specific death signalling by fatty acids

Valerio Zupo, Maria Costantini, Eliahu D. Aflalo, Tom Levy, Vered Chalifa-Caspi, Olabiyi Obayomi, Mirko Mutalipassi, Nadia Ruocco, Francesca Glaviano, Emanuele Somma, Paola Nieri, Amir Sagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cell death is physiologically induced by specific mediators. However, our power to trigger the process in selected cells is quite limited. The protandric shrimp Hippolyte inermis offers a possible answer. Here, we analyse a de novo transcriptome of shrimp post-larvae fed on diatoms. The sex ratio of diatom-fed shrimps versus shrimps fed on control diets was dramatically altered, demonstrating the disruption of the androgenic gland, and their transcriptome revealed key modifications in gene expression. A wide transcriptomic analysis, validated by real-time qPCR, revealed that ferroptosis represents the primary factor to re-shape the body of this invertebrate, followed by further apoptotic events, and our findings open biotechnological perspectives for controlling the destiny of selected tissues. Ferroptosis was detected here for the first time in a crustacean. In addition, this is the first demonstration of a noticeable effect prompted by an ingested food, deeply impacting the gene networks of a young metazoan, definitely determining its future physiology and sexual differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20231327
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number2009
StatePublished - 25 Oct 2023


  • Hippolyte inermis
  • biotechnology
  • cell death
  • crustacean
  • diatoms
  • polyunsaturated fatty acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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