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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Dec 4;98(25):14693-7. Epub 2001 Nov 27.

Candidate odorant receptors from the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles gambiae and evidence of down-regulation in response to blood feeding.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Program in Developmental Biology and Center for Molecular Neuroscience, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, USA.


Olfaction plays a major role in host preference and blood feeding, integral behaviors for disease transmission by the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto (henceforth A. gambiae). We have identified four genes encoding candidate odorant receptors from A. gambiae that are selectively expressed in olfactory organs, contain approximately seven transmembrane domains, and show significant similarity to several putative odorant receptors in Drosophila melanogaster. Furthermore, one of the putative A. gambiae odorant receptors exhibits female-specific antennal expression and is down-regulated 12 h after blood feeding, a period during which substantial reduction in olfactory responses to human odorants has been observed. Taken together, these data suggest these genes encode a family of odorant receptors in A. gambiae, whose further study may aid in the design of novel antimalarial programs.

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