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Neuron. 1994 Jan;12(1):35-49.

Members of a family of Drosophila putative odorant-binding proteins are expressed in different subsets of olfactory hairs.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Institute, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02254.


A polymerase chain reaction-based method was used to generate a Drosophila melanogaster antennal cDNA library from which head cDNAs were subtracted. We identified five cDNAs that code for antennal proteins containing six cysteines in a conserved pattern shared with known moth antennal proteins, including pheromone-binding proteins. Another cDNA codes for a protein related to vertebrate brain proteins that bind hydrophobic ligands. In all, we describe seven antennal proteins which contain potential signal peptides, suggesting that, like pheromone-binding proteins, they may be secreted in the lumen of olfactory hairs. The expression patterns of these putative odorant-binding proteins define at least four different subsets of olfactory hairs and suggest that the Drosophila olfactory apparatus is functionally segregated.

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