Article

Crystal and solution structures of an odorant-binding protein from the southern house mosquito complexed with an oviposition pheromone.

Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.74). 10/2010; 107(44):19102-7. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1012274107
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Culex mosquitoes introduce the pathogens responsible for filariasis, West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis, and other diseases into humans. Currently, traps baited with oviposition semiochemicals play an important role in detection efforts and could provide an environmentally friendly approach to controlling their populations. The odorant binding proteins (OBPs) in the female's antenna play a crucial, if yet imperfectly understood, role in sensing oviposition cues. Here, we report the X-ray crystallography and NMR 3D structures of OBP1 for Culex quinquefasciatus (CquiOBP1) bound to an oviposition pheromone (5R,6S)-6-acetoxy-5-hexadecanolide (MOP). In both studies, CquiOBP1 had the same overall six-helix structure seen in other insect OBPs, but a detailed analysis revealed an important previously undescribed feature. There are two models for OBP-mediated signal transduction: (i) direct release of the pheromone from an internal binding pocket in a pH-dependent fashion and (ii) detection of a pheromone-induced conformational change in the OBP·pheromone complex. Although CquiOBP1 binds MOP in a pH-dependent fashion, it lacks the C terminus required for the pH-dependent release model. This study shows that CquiOBP binds MOP in an unprecedented fashion using both a small central cavity for the lactone head group and a long hydrophobic channel for its tail.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
51 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Several blood-feeding (hematophagous) insects are vectors of a number of diseases including dengue, Chagas-disease and leishmaniasis which persistently affect public health throughout Latin America. The vectors of those diseases include mosquitoes, triatomine bugs and sandflies. As vector control is an efficient way to prevent these illnesses it is important to understand the sensory biology of those harmful insects. We study the physiology of the olfactory system of those insects and apply that knowledge on the development of methods to manipulate their behavior. Here we review some of the latest information on insect olfaction with emphasis on hematophagous insects. The insect olfactory sensory neurons are housed inside hair-like organs called sensilla which are mainly distributed on the antenna and mouthparts. The identity of many of the odor compounds that those neurons detect are already known in hematophagous insects. They include several constituents of host (vertebrate) odor, sex, aggregation and alarm pheromones, and compounds related to egg-deposition behavior. Recent work has contributed significant knowledge on how odor information is processed in the insect first odor-processing center in the brain, the antennal lobe. The quality, quantity, and temporal features of the odor stimuli are encoded by the neural networks of the antennal lobe. Information regarding odor mixtures is also encoded. While natural mixtures evoke strong responses, synthetic mixtures that deviate from their natural counterparts in terms of key constituents or proportions of those constituents evoke weaker responses. The processing of olfactory information is largely unexplored in hematophagous insects. However, many aspects of their olfactory behavior are known. As in other insects, responses to relevant single odor compounds are weak while natural mixtures evoke strong responses. Future challenges include studying how information about odor mixtures is processed in their brain. This could help develop highly attractive synthetic odor blends to lure them into traps.
    Journal of Physiology-Paris 05/2014; · 0.82 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The scarab beetle Holotrichia oblita Faldermann (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) is a predominant underground pest in the northern parts of China, and its larvae (grubs) cause great economic losses because of its wide range of host plants and covert habitats. Environmentally friendly strategies for controlling adults would have novel and broad potential applications. One potential pest management measure is the regulation of olfactory chemoreception to control target insect pests. In the process of olfactory recognition, odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) are believed to carry hydrophobic odorants from the environment to the surface of olfactory receptor neurons. To obtain a better understanding of the relationship between OBP structures and their ligands, homology modelling and molecular docking have been conducted on the interaction between HoblOBP1 and hexyl benzoate in the present study. Based on the results, site-directed mutagenesis and binding experiments were combined to describe the binding sites of HoblOBP1 and to explore its ligand-binding mechanism. After homology modelling of HoblOBP1, it was found that the three-dimensional structure of HoblOBP1 consists of six α-helices and three disulphide bridges that connect the helices, and the hydrophobic pockets are both composed of five helices. Based on the docking study, we found that van der Waals interactions and hydrophobic interactions are both important in the bonding between HoblOBP1 and hexyl benzoate. Intramolecular residues formed the hydrogen bonds in the C terminus of the protein and the bonds are crucial for the ligand-binding specificity. Finally, MET48, ILE80 and TYR111 are binding sites predicted for HoblOBP1. Using site-directed mutagenesis and fluorescence assays, it was found that ligands could not be recognized by mutant of Tyr111. A possible explanation is that the compound could not be recognized by the mutant, and remains in the binding cavity because of the loss of the intramolecular hydrogen bonding that acts as a holder. So we believe that Tyr111 of HoblOBP1 is a key binding site. We also believe that Ile80A is a very important binding site, especially to some ligands.
    Insect Molecular Biology 02/2014; · 3.04 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Semiochemical is a generic term used for a chemical substance that influences the behaviour of an organism. It is a common term used in the field of chemical ecology to encompass pheromones, allomones, kairomones, attractants and repellents. Insects have mastered the art of using semiochemicals as communication signals and rely on them to find mates, host or habitat. This dependency of insects on semiochemicals has allowed chemical ecologists to develop environment friendly pest management strategies. However, discovering semiochemicals is a laborious process that involves a plethora of behavioural and analytical techniques, making it expansively time consuming. Recently, reverse chemical ecology approach using odorant binding proteins (OBPs) as target for elucidating behaviourally active compounds is gaining eminence. In this scenario, we describe a "computational reverse chemical ecology" approach for rapid screening of potential semiochemicals. We illustrate the high prediction accuracy of our computational method. We screened 25 semiochemicals for their binding potential to a GOBP of B. dorsalis using molecular docking (in silico) and molecular dynamics. Parallely, compounds were subjected to fluorescent quenching assays (Experimental). The correlation between in silico and experimental data were significant (r2 = 0.9408; P < 0.0001). Further, predicted compounds were subjected to behavioral bioassays and were found to be highly attractive to insects. The present study provides a unique methodology for rapid screening and predicting behaviorally active semiochemicals. This methodology may be developed as a viable approach for prospecting active semiochemicals for pest control, which otherwise is a laborious process.
    BMC Genomics 03/2014; 15(1):209. · 4.40 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
0 Downloads
Available from
Jul 1, 2014