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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Antennal SNMPs (sensory neuron membrane proteins) of Lepidoptera define a unique family of invertebrate CD36-like proteins.

SNMP1-Apol is an antennal-specific protein of the wild silk moth Antheraea polyphemus; the protein is abundantly expressed and localized to the receptor membranes of sex-pheromone specific olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs). SNMP1-Apol is thought to function in odor detection based on its olfactory-specific expression, localization within OSNs, developmental time of expression, and apparent homology to the CD36 family of membrane-bound receptor proteins. In the current study, SNMP1-Apol homologues were identified from the moths Bombyx mori, Heliothis virescens, and Manduca sexta. These species posses antennal mRNAs encoding proteins with amino acid sequence identities ranging from 75-80%; these proteins are collectively designated SNMP1. A second M. sexta SNMP homologue, previously identified and partially sequenced [Robertson et al.: Insect Mol Biol 8:501-518, 1999] was fully sequenced and characterized. The encoded protein shares only 26-27% sequence identity with the SNMP1 proteins, and is thus designated SNMP2-Msex. The SNMP sequences were used to identify 14 and four possible homologues in Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans genome databases, respectively; thus, greatly expanding CD36 family membership among the invertebrate lineages. Despite their sequence difference, SNMP1-Msex and SNMP2-Msex expression is localized to OSNs and occurs simultaneously with the onset of olfactory function. These findings suggest that SNMPs play a central role in odor detection in insects, and that the CD36 gene family is widely represented among animal phyla. The SNMPs are the only identified neuronal members of the CD36 family, and as such expand the activities of this gene family into roles influencing brain function and behavioral action.[1]


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