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Petromyzonol sulfate and its derivatives: the chemoattractants of the sea lamprey.

Petromyzonol sulfate (PZS) and 3 keto-PZS are bile alocohol derivatives that serve as chemoattractants during the life cycle of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus). The sulfonate moiety is crucial perhaps conferring the required solubility for the pheromone that is released into the streams and for the specificity to bind to its receptor. During the life cycle of lamprey, larvae produce copious amounts of 5 alpha-cholan-PZS, and trace amounts of allocholic acid (ACA), which attracts adults to the same breeding ground. Later the spermeating males produce 3keto-PZS, and trace amounts of 3-keto-ACA, which attracts the ovulating females, signaling both its reproductive status and its nesting location for successful reproduction. In both stages, a mixture of components serves as pheromone plume, similar to insects. The receptors for the migratory and the reproductive pheromones need to be molecularly cloned and characterized in order to understand the molecular biology of olfaction in the sea lamprey.[1]

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