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Identification and characterization of the pyrokinin/pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide family of G protein-coupled receptors from Ostrinia nubilalis


Correspondence: Russell Jurenka, Department of Entomology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-3222, USA. Tel.: + 1 515 294 1485; fax: + 1 515 294 2995; e-mail:


Insects have two closely related G protein-coupled receptors belonging to the pyrokinin/pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (pyrokinin/PBAN) family, one with the ligand PBAN or pyrokinin-2 and another with diapause hormone or pyrokinin-1 as a ligand. A related receptor is activated by products of the capa gene, periviscerokinins. Here we characterized the PBAN receptor and the diapause hormone receptor from the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis. We also identified a partial sequence for the periviscerokinin receptor. Quantitative PCR of mRNA for all three receptors indicated differential expression in various life stages and tissues. All three splice variants of the PBAN receptor were identified with all variants found in pheromone gland tissue. Immunohistochemistry of V5 tags of expressed receptors indicated that all three variants and the diapause hormone receptor were expressed at similar levels in Spodoptera frugiperda 9 (Sf9) cells. However, the A- and B-variants were not active in our functional assay, which confirms studies from other moths. Functional expression of the C-variant indicated that it is has a 44 nM half effective concentration for activation by PBAN. The diapause hormone receptor was activated by diapause hormone with a 150 nM half effective concentration.