Odorant-binding proteins and chemosensory proteins in pheromone detection and release in the silkmoth Bombyx mori


  • F.R. Dani
  • E. Michelucci
  • S. Francese
  • G. Mastrobuoni
  • S. Cappellozza
  • G. La Marca
  • A. Niccolini
  • A. Felicioli
  • G. Moneti
  • P. Pelosi


  • Chemical Senses


  • Chem Senses 36 (4): 335-344


  • The genome of the silkmoth Bombyx mori contains 44 genes encoding odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) and 20 encoding chemosensory proteins (CSPs). In this work, we used a proteomic approach to investigate the expression of proteins of both classes in the antennae of adults and in the female pheromone glands. The most abundant proteins found in the antennae were the 4 OBPs (PBP, GOBP1, GOBP2, and ABP) and the 2 CSPs (CSP1 and CSP2) previously identified and characterized. In addition, we could detect only 3 additional OBPs and 2 CSPs, with clearly different patterns of expression between the sexes. Particularly interesting, on the other hand, is the relatively large number of binding proteins (1 OBP and 7 CSPs) expressed in the female pheromone glands, some of them not present in the antennae. In the glands, these proteins could be likely involved in the solubilization of pheromonal components and their delivery in the environment.