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

How a sex pheromone might act at a concentration below 10(-16) M.

The sex-inducing pheromone of Volvox carteri is a glycoprotein that triggers development of males and females at a concentration below 10(-16) M. Evidence is presented for the existence of a novel mechanism of signal amplification operating within the extracellular matrix of this multicellular organism. A family of 70 kDa matrix glycoproteins denoted pherophorins bear a C-terminal domain being homologous to the sex-inducing pheromone. Under the influence of the pheromone, this domain is liberated by highly specific proteolysis.[1]


  1. How a sex pheromone might act at a concentration below 10(-16) M. Sumper, M., Berg, E., Wenzl, S., Godl, K. EMBO J. (1993) [Pubmed]
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