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author:("pozzolan, Françoise")
1.  Bestrophin-Encoded Ca2+-Activated Cl− Channels Underlie a Current with Properties Similar to the Native Current in the Moth Spodoptera littoralis Olfactory Receptor Neurons 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e52691.
Responses of insect olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) involve an entry of Ca2+ through olfactory heterodimeric receptor complexes. In moths, the termination of ORN responses was found to strongly depend on the external Ca2+ concentration through the activation of unknown Ca2+-dependent Cl− channels. We thus investigated the molecular identity of these Cl− channels. There is compelling evidence that bestrophins form Cl− channels when expressed in heterologous systems. Here we provide evidence that antennae of the moth Spodoptera littoralis express three transcripts encoding proteins with hallmarks of bestrophins. One of these transcripts, SlitBest1b, is expressed in ORNs. The heterologous expression of SlitBest1b protein in CHO-K1 cells yielded a Ca2+-activated Cl− current that shares electrophysiological properties with the native Ca2+-activated Cl− current of ORNs. Both currents are anionic, present similar dependence on the intracellular Ca2+ concentration, partly inactivate over time, have the same anion permeability sequence, the same sequence of inhibitory efficiency of blockers, the same almost linear I–V relationships and finally both currents do not depend on the cell volume. Therefore, our data suggest that SlitBest1b is a good candidate for being a molecular component of the olfactory Ca2+-activated Cl− channel and is likely to constitute part of the insect olfactory transduction pathway. A different function (e.g. regulation of other proteins, maintenance of the anionic homeostasis in the sensillar lymph) and a different role (e.g. involvement in the olfactory system development) cannot be excluded however.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052691
PMCID: PMC3530479  PMID: 23300744
2.  Degradation of Pheromone and Plant Volatile Components by a Same Odorant-Degrading Enzyme in the Cotton Leafworm, Spodoptera littoralis 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e29147.
Background
Odorant-Degrading Enzymes (ODEs) are supposed to be involved in the signal inactivation step within the olfactory sensilla of insects by quickly removing odorant molecules from the vicinity of the olfactory receptors. Only three ODEs have been both identified at the molecular level and functionally characterized: two were specialized in the degradation of pheromone compounds and the last one was shown to degrade a plant odorant.
Methodology
Previous work has shown that the antennae of the cotton leafworm Spodoptera littoralis, a worldwide pest of agricultural crops, express numerous candidate ODEs. We focused on an esterase overexpressed in males antennae, namely SlCXE7. We studied its expression patterns and tested its catalytic properties towards three odorants, i.e. the two female sex pheromone components and a green leaf volatile emitted by host plants.
Conclusion
SlCXE7 expression was concomitant during development with male responsiveness to odorants and during adult scotophase with the period of male most active sexual behaviour. Furthermore, SlCXE7 transcription could be induced by male exposure to the main pheromone component, suggesting a role of Pheromone-Degrading Enzyme. Interestingly, recombinant SlCXE7 was able to efficiently hydrolyze the pheromone compounds but also the plant volatile, with a higher affinity for the pheromone than for the plant compound. In male antennae, SlCXE7 expression was associated with both long and short sensilla, tuned to sex pheromones or plant odours, respectively. Our results thus suggested that a same ODE could have a dual function depending of it sensillar localisation. Within the pheromone-sensitive sensilla, SlCXE7 may play a role in pheromone signal termination and in reduction of odorant background noise, whereas it could be involved in plant odorant inactivation within the short sensilla.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029147
PMCID: PMC3246455  PMID: 22216190
3.  Characterization of an Antennal Carboxylesterase from the Pest Moth Spodoptera littoralis Degrading a Host Plant Odorant 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(11):e15026.
Background
Carboxyl/cholinesterases (CCEs) are highly diversified in insects. These enzymes have a broad range of proposed functions, in neuro/developmental processes, dietary detoxification, insecticide resistance or hormone/pheromone degradation. As few functional data are available on purified or recombinant CCEs, the physiological role of most of these enzymes is unknown. Concerning their role in olfaction, only two CCEs able to metabolize sex pheromones have been functionally characterized in insects. These enzymes are only expressed in the male antennae, and secreted into the lumen of the pheromone-sensitive sensilla. CCEs able to hydrolyze other odorants than sex pheromones, such as plant volatiles, have not been identified.
Methodology
In Spodoptera littoralis, a major crop pest, a diversity of antennal CCEs has been previously identified. We have employed here a combination of molecular biology, biochemistry and electrophysiology approaches to functionally characterize an intracellular CCE, SlCXE10, whose predominant expression in the olfactory sensilla suggested a role in olfaction. A recombinant protein was produced using the baculovirus system and we tested its catabolic properties towards a plant volatile and the sex pheromone components.
Conclusion
We showed that SlCXE10 could efficiently hydrolyze a green leaf volatile and to a lesser extent the sex pheromone components. The transcript level in male antennae was also strongly induced by exposure to this plant odorant. In antennae, SlCXE10 expression was associated with sensilla responding to the sex pheromones and to plant odours. These results suggest that a CCE-based intracellular metabolism of odorants could occur in insect antennae, in addition to the extracellular metabolism occurring within the sensillar lumen. This is the first functional characterization of an Odorant-Degrading Enzyme active towards a host plant volatile.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015026
PMCID: PMC2993938  PMID: 21124773

Résultats 1-3 (3)