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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Maricopa, Arizona » U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center » Pest Management and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #250584

Title: Unraveling the pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN) signal transduction cascade that regulates sex pheromone production in moths

item MATSUMOTO, SHOGO - Riken Institute
item OHNISHI, ATSUSHI - Riken Institute
item LEE, MIN JAE - Riken Institute
item Hull, Joe

Submitted to: Vitamins and Hormones
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/5/2010
Publication Date: 9/20/2010
Citation: MMatsumoto, S., Ohnishi, A., Lee, M., Hull, J.J. 2010. Unraveling the pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN) signal transduction cascade that regulates sex pheromone production in moths. Vitamins and Hormones. 83:425-445.

Interpretive Summary: While significant progress has been made over the years in elucidating the chemical structures of the species-specific multi-component blends of sex pheromones that adult female moths use to attract conspecific males, the molecular mechanisms underlying sex pheromone production in PG cells has remained poorly understood. To address this, we focused our efforts on using diverse methodological approaches to elucidate the intricate molecular events occurring within silkmoth (Bombyx mori) PG cells during pheromonogenesis (the period just prior to and including pheromone production) and to determine at the molecular level how the external signal of PBAN is transmitted into the biological response of pheromone production and release. Our research endeavors have lead to the successful identification and characterization of several key molecules essential to silkworm sex pheromone biosynthesis. In addition to broadening our understanding of the cellular events occurring in lepidopteran sex pheromone biosynthesis, we feel that our identification of many of these components and their associated pathways also provides insights into a number of topics relevant to modern cellular biology including mechanisms of lipid uptake, lipogenesis, hormone-regulated lipolysis, membrane trafficking associated with lipid transport/release, intracellular calcium signaling, etc. By characterizing these unsolved mechanisms in PG cells, we seek to provide a basic, novel understanding of the fundamental aspects of lipid and cellular biology, knowledge that can then be applied to elucidate similar mechanisms in organisms of different phyla.

Technical Abstract: Studies over the past three decades have demonstrated that female moths usually produce sex pheromones as multi-component blends in which the ratios of the individual components are precisely controlled, making it possible to generate species-specific pheromone blends. Most moth pheromone components are de novo synthesized from acetyl-CoA in the pheromone gland (PG) through modifications of fatty acid biosynthetic pathways. Pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN), a neurohormone produced by a cephalic organ (subesophageal ganglion) stimulates sex pheromone biosynthesis in the PG via an influx of extracellular Ca2+. In recent years, we have expanded our knowledge of the precise mechanisms underlying silkmoth (Bombyx mori) sex pheromone production by characterizing a number of key molecules. In this review, we want to highlight our efforts in elucidating these mechanisms in B. mori and to understand how they relate more broadly to lepidopteran sex pheromone production in general.