G-protein activation, identification and immunolocalization in pheromone-sensitive sensilla trichodea of moths
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Electrophysiological in situ recordings from pheromone-sensitive sensilla trichodea of Bombyx mori males with a recording pipette which contained G-protein-activating fluoride, showed receptor cell activity similar to that evoked by pheromone stimulation. This suggests that G-proteins might be physiologically active in olfactory sensilla of insects in situ. Biochemical experiments using specific antibodies revealed the presence of G-protein, belonging to the Gq family, in antennal preparations. Similar G-protein was identified in sensory hair preparations of Antheraea pernyi which contained only cuticle, sensillum lymph and dendritic material. Moreover, the absence of this G-protein in pure sensillum lymph preparations indicates its association with the receptive dendrites. This particular association could be shown by immunolabelling studies at the ultrastructural level. Strong specific labelling of membranes of receptor-cell dendrites was found in all types of olfactory sensilla present on the antenna of the silkmoths. Additional specific labelling of apical membranes of auxiliary cells, epidermal cells and membranes forming the axon/glia interface demonstrated that this G-protein is not restricted to the sensory dendrites and that other signal-transduction pathways could be present at these membranes. In summary, the experiments imply a participation of G-protein of the Gq family in signal transduction of olfactory receptor cells in moths.
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