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We have investigated the structural features of three pheromone binding protein (PBP) subtypes from Antheraea polyphemus and monitored possible changes induced upon interaction with the Antheraea pheromonal compounds 4E,9Z-14:Ac [(E4,Z9)-tetradecadienyl-1-acetate], 6E,11Z-16:Ac [(E6,Z11)-hexadecadienyl-1-acetate], and 6E,11Z-16:Al [(E6,Z11)-hexadecadienal]. Circular dichroism and second derivative UV-difference spectroscopy data demonstrate that the structure of subtype PBP1 significantly changes upon binding of 4E,9Z-14:Ac. The related 6E,11Z-16:Ac was less effective and 6E,11Z-16:Al showed only a small effect. In contrast, in subtype PBP2 pronounced structural changes were only induced by the 6E,11Z-16:Al, and the subtype PBP3 did not show any considerable changes in response to the pheromonal compounds. The UV-spectroscopic data suggest that histidine residues are likely to be involved in the ligand-induced structural changes of the proteins, and this notion was confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis experiments. These results demonstrate that appropriate ligands induce structural changes in PBPs and provide evidence for ligand specificity of these proteins.


Claudia Mohl, Heinz Breer, Jürgen Krieger. Species-specific pheromonal compounds induce distinct conformational changes of pheromone binding protein subtypes from Antheraea polyphemus. Invertebrate neuroscience : IN. 2002 Oct;4(4):165-74

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PMID: 12488967

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