Journal Article

A Photoaffinity-labeled Green Leaf Volatile Compound ‘Tricks’ Highly Selective and Sensitive Insect Olfactory Receptor Neurons

Alexander Alexeevich Nikonov, Jacob Thomas Valiyaveettil and Walter Soares Leal

in Chemical Senses

Volume 26, issue 1, pages 49-54
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 0379-864X
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1464-3553 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/chemse/26.1.49
A Photoaffinity-labeled Green Leaf Volatile Compound ‘Tricks’ Highly Selective and Sensitive Insect Olfactory Receptor Neurons

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The sex pheromone of the scarab beetle, Phyllopertha diversa, is emitted by females and specifically detected by olfactory receptor neurons in the male and female antennae. Single sensillum recordings showed that, in contrast to the less sensitive pheromone sensilla in females, olfactory receptor neurons in the male antennae had a low threshold (1 ng), which rivals those of moths. The male and female antennae also possessed olfactory receptor neurons specific for the detection of floral and green leaf volatile compounds. Detectors for the green leaf volatile (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate had a threshold (10 pg) far below the sensitivity of the pheromone-detecting machinery. In addition, these neurons showed a remarkable selectivity even when challenged with related compounds at 10 000-fold higher concentrations. Surprisingly, a diazo analog, (Z)-3-hexenyl diazoacetate, elicited slightly higher nervous activity than the natural ligand in the neurons specific and selective for (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate. The inability of the green leaf volatile-detecting machinery to discriminate the photoaffinity-labeled compound from the natural product indicates that the synthetic ligand interacts with odorant-binding protein, odorant receptor and odorant-degrading enzyme as does the cognate ligand.

Journal Article.  3681 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Molecular and Cell Biology

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