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Gene. 2005 Feb 14;346:195-203.

P450 and P450 reductase cDNAs from the moth Mamestra brassicae: cloning and expression patterns in male antennae.

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  • 1INRA, Unité de Phytopharmacie et Médiateurs Chimiques, Bât. A, route de Saint-Cyr, F-78026 Versailles Cedex, France.


The involvement of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes in olfaction has been demonstrated in vertebrates over the past decade. In insects, these enzymes are well known for their role in biosynthesis of endogenous compounds as well as xenobiotic metabolism, but the presence of olfactory cytochrome P450s was poorly investigated. Using a PCR-based strategy, we have isolated cDNAs of two new microsomal P450s from the antennae of the cabbage armyworm Mamestra brassicae, CYP9A13 and CYP4G20 of two new microsomal P450s, as well as their red-ox partner, the cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR). Their distribution through the body and their cellular localization within the antennae were studied by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. The three genes are strongly expressed in some sensory units of the antennae, the sensilla trichodea, which are tuned to odorants detection. The putative functions of the corresponding enzymes are discussed in regard to their respective expression patterns and to our knowledge on olfactory P450 metabolism in mammals.

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