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Int Rev Cytol. 2002;213:49-91.

Neuroendocrine control of pheromone biosynthesis in moths.

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  • 1ARO, Volcani Center, Institute for Technology and Storage of Agricultural Products, Department of Stored Products, Bet Dagan, Israel.


Prevalent among the Lepidoptera, as in many other insect orders, species-specific pheromones are synchronously produced and released for mate finding. Pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN) is a neuropeptide widespread throughout the class Insecta. Although its role in the several different orders of insects has not been fully elucidated, its regulatory role in Lepidopteran pheromone biosynthesis has been strongly implicated. The biosynthesis, gene expression, distribution, and release of PBAN have been studied in several moth species. This review discusses PBAN's mode of action as a pheromonotropic neurohormone at the organism, tissue, and cellular levels. The discussion includes an overview on PBAN structure-activity relationships, its target tissue identification, its putative receptor proteins, and the second messengers involved in signal transduction and the key regulatory enzymes in the pheromone biosynthetic pathway that may be influenced by PBAN. Finally, the review includes a discussion of various mediators and inhibitors of the pheromonotropic action due to PBAN.

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