HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Researchers find how protein allows insects to detect and respond to pheromones

DALLAS Jan. 19, 2005 How do insects smell? Badly, according to a new study, if they lack a certain kind of protein critical to their ability to detect and interpret pheromones the insect equivalent of "smelling."

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered how a protein, called an olfactory binding protein, links incoming pheromone signals and specific nerve cells in an insect's brain, which in turn translate those signals. Pheromones are chemical signals given off by animals that, when detected by others of the same species, mediate a variety of behaviors, such as feeding, mating and colonizing.

The findings not only shed light on insect behavior, but also suggest that olfactory binding proteins may be new targets for synthetic chemicals that could trick insects like mosquitoes into traps or could function as repellents, said Dr. Dean Smith, associate professor of pharmacology at UT Southwestern and senior author on the study. Humans give off signals that attract mosquitoes, the insect responsible for spreading malaria, which kills up to 3 million people each year.

The research, appearing in the Jan. 20 issue of the journal Neuron, is the first to directly link pheromone-induced behavior with the activity of olfactory binding proteins, or OBPs.

The nerve cells, or neurons, in insects responsible for picking up on pheromone signals have been studied for decades, as have pheromones themselves. But the biochemical mechanism by which pheromones and other odorants selectively activate those sensory neurons is poorly understood.

"We've known about OBPs for 20 years, but until now their function and significance was unclear," said Dr. Smith, who works in the Center for Basic Neuroscience. Olfactory binding proteins are produced by non-neuronal cells and are secreted into the fluid bathing the dendrites, or nerve endings, of olfactory neurons.

Dr. Smith's research group found that an OBP in fruit flies cal
'"/>

Contact: Amanda Siegfried
amanda.siegfried@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
19-Jan-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Researchers find pathway that controls cell size and division
2. Researchers watch antibiotics, bacteria meet at atomic level
3. Researchers discover gene responsible for Restless Legs Syndrome
4. Researchers witness natural selection at work in dramatic comeback of male butterflies
5. Researchers discover human embryonic stem cells are the ultimate perpetual fuel cell
6. Researchers use new approach to predict protein function
7. Researchers probe risks, benefits of folic acid fortification
8. Researchers identify genetic mutation that may alter tumor cell proliferation
9. Researchers discover method for identifying how cancer evades the immune system
10. Researchers use adult stem cells to create soft tissue
11. Researchers find gene that spurs development of the epididymis

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/19/2019)... ... July 18, 2019 , ... VetStem Biopharma has long ... As a result of a two-year research collaboration with Calidi Biotherapeutics, VetStem ... platform in veterinary medicine. VetStem should be able to fast-track this cancer therapy ...
(Date:7/17/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... July 15, 2019 , ... ... computational science expertise exclusively for Life Sciences and Healthcare companies, announces the availability ... critical advisory services and strategic direction to start-up and emerging bio-pharma companies interested ...
(Date:7/10/2019)... ... July 10, 2019 , ... Inference Solutions , a ... today announced its role in Pizza Hut Australia’s digital transformation initiative ... A key part of this initiative is implementation of an automated call-steering application ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/11/2019)... , ... June 11, 2019 , ... ... Personalized Stem Cells Inc. (PSC) , has announced that their GMP facility ... Food and Drug Branch for manufacturing. This is an important milestone for ...
(Date:5/31/2019)... ... May 29, 2019 , ... ... USPTO providing proprietary interest to our methodology, processes, and diagnostic techniques. The ... TREATMENT… extends Somnology’s IP rights including our proprietary sleep scoring methodology. The ...
(Date:5/22/2019)... , ... May 22, 2019 , ... Artemis ... a $8 million Series A funding round co-led by Astanor Ventures and ... State Development Fund and iSelect Fund . The company has raised $11.75m ...
(Date:5/14/2019)... ... May 13, 2019 , ... Leak ... instruments for the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Device and Food Packaging Industries’ is excited ... website aims to improve LDA’s ability to communicate directly with the marketplace; serving ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: