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Gene. 2007 Dec 1;404(1-2):31-40. Epub 2007 Sep 12.

Identification of candidate aldehyde oxidases from the silkworm Bombyx mori potentially involved in antennal pheromone degradation.

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UMR-A 1272 Physiologie de l'Insecte: Signalisation et Communication, Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, 7 Quai St-Bernard, Paris, France.


Signal inactivation is a crucial step in the dynamic of olfactory process and involves various Odorant-Degrading Enzymes. In the silkworm Bombyx mori, one of the best models for studying olfaction in insects, the involvement of an antennal-specific aldehyde oxidase in the degradation of the sex pheromone component bombykal has been demonstrated over the three past decades by biochemical studies. However, the corresponding enzyme has never been characterized at the molecular level. Bioinformatic screening of B. mori genome and molecular approaches have been used to isolate several candidate sequences of aldehyde oxidases. Two interesting antennal-expressed genes have been further characterized and their putative functions are discussed in regard to their respective expression pattern and to our knowledge on aldehyde oxidase properties. Interestingly, one gene appeared as specifically expressed in the antennae of B. mori and associated in males with the bombykal-sensitive sensilla, strongly suggesting that it could encode for the previously biochemically characterized enzyme.

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