Identification of alpha-2u globulin in the rat preputial gland by MALDI-TOF analysis.
ABSTRACT The low molecular mass proteins found in the pheromonal sources such as urine, saliva, glandular secretion etc have been reported as ligand carriers for the processes of chemocommunication in mammals. The preputial gland plays an important role in the production of olfactory signals for pheromonal communication. Thus, in the present study, alpha-2u globulin having molecular mass of 18 kDa has been identified in the preputial gland of Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) by in-gel trypsin digestion and analyzing the resulting peptides by MALDI-TOF. Since preputial gland is one of the major pheromonal sources in rat, the results suggest that alpha-2u globulin might act as a carrier for hydrophobic odorants of preputial gland.