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PLoS One. 2010 Mar 1;5(3):e9471. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009471.

The Anopheles gambiae odorant binding protein 1 (AgamOBP1) mediates indole recognition in the antennae of female mosquitoes.

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  • 1Developmental Biology Center, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California Irvine, Irvine, California, United States of America.

Abstract

Haematophagous insects are frequently carriers of parasitic diseases, including malaria. The mosquito Anopheles gambiae is the major vector of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa and is thus responsible for thousands of deaths daily. Although the role of olfaction in A. gambiae host detection has been demonstrated, little is known about the combinations of ligands and odorant binding proteins (OBPs) that can produce specific odor-related responses in vivo. We identified a ligand, indole, for an A. gambiae odorant binding protein, AgamOBP1, modeled the interaction in silico and confirmed the interaction using biochemical assays. RNAi-mediated gene silencing coupled with electrophysiological analyses confirmed that AgamOBP1 binds indole in A. gambiae and that the antennal receptor cells do not respond to indole in the absence of AgamOBP1. This case represents the first documented instance of a specific A. gambiae OBP-ligand pairing combination, demonstrates the significance of OBPs in odor recognition, and can be expanded to the identification of other ligands for OBPs of Anopheles and other medically important insects.

PMID:
20208991
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2830424
Free PMC Article
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