Breaking News
September 18, 2018 - Established Alzheimer’s Risk Gene Has a New Role
September 18, 2018 - Hospitalization after antibiotic initiation found to be higher for people with Alzheimer’s disease
September 18, 2018 - Many children with special healthcare needs do not have access to ‘PCMH-concordant’ care
September 18, 2018 - Investigational nasal influenza vaccine tested in children and teens
September 18, 2018 - Lymphatic vessels surrounding the brain play crucial role in multiple sclerosis, research suggests
September 18, 2018 - New fiber laser-based ultrasound sensor may have potential applications in medical diagnostics
September 18, 2018 - Protect your heart and health during ‘dog days’ of summer
September 18, 2018 - Faculty receive awards for promise in biomedical research, clinical care | News Center
September 18, 2018 - Digital games for CVD-related self-management improve exercise capacity and energy expenditure
September 18, 2018 - Adding PET scans to CT imaging can change treatment for women with cervical cancer
September 18, 2018 - Human brains may be wired to prefer lying on the couch, suggests research
September 18, 2018 - Zika virus vaccine shows promise for treatment of fatal glioblastoma
September 18, 2018 - Theravance Biopharma and Mylan to Report New Data from Phase 3 Studies of Yupelri (revefenacin) in Oral Presentation at European Respiratory Society International Congress 2018
September 18, 2018 - INSiGHT identifies unique retinal regulatory genes
September 18, 2018 - Diversity, science leadership grants awarded to student-faculty pairs | News Center
September 18, 2018 - Many parents blame electronics for sleep problems among teens
September 18, 2018 - Researchers study neuronal activity in brain that prevents individuals from doing physical activity
September 18, 2018 - Purifying Proteins from Mammalian Cell Culture
September 18, 2018 - Researchers map 3D structure of toxic proteins used by Pseudomonas aeruginosa to trigger infection
September 18, 2018 - Outcome of ACL reconstruction related to the way you move post-surgery
September 18, 2018 - Study aims to investigate risk factors for PPCs in surgical patients with gastric cancer
September 18, 2018 - Ardelyx Submits New Drug Application for Tenapanor for IBS-C
September 18, 2018 - Sociodemographic disparities in eyeglass use among elderly
September 18, 2018 - New Drug Shows Promise for Progressive Form of MS
September 18, 2018 - Babies exposed to higher levels of organochlorine compounds in womb may have worse lung function
September 18, 2018 - Women exposed to trauma in their lives gave birth to underweight male infants
September 18, 2018 - Probiotic supplementation may reduce use of antibiotics, scientific analysis shows
September 18, 2018 - Resveratrol decreases pain severity and levels of inflammatory biomarkers in osteoarthritis patients
September 18, 2018 - Research shows pollution is reaching the placenta
September 18, 2018 - KAIST researchers develop heart-targeting drug delivery technology using tannin acid
September 18, 2018 - Muscle relaxants used during general anesthesia can increase risk of pulmonary complications
September 18, 2018 - Silicone breast implants may increase risk of rare adverse outcomes in women
September 18, 2018 - Pediatricians Have a Role in Encouraging Play Among Children
September 18, 2018 - California’s Medicaid program hits ‘print’ when the feds need info
September 18, 2018 - Genes, environment and schizophrenia—new study finds the placenta is the missing link
September 18, 2018 - Boehringer Ingelheim announces study results of COPD patients treated with Spiolto Respimat
September 18, 2018 - PAREXEL launches Patient Innovation Center to improve drug development process
September 18, 2018 - Children’s National and NIAID launch pediatric clinical research partnership
September 18, 2018 - Researchers may be overlooking complexities in social relations of primates
September 18, 2018 - Key signaling molecule that helps stem cells make healthy bone declines as we age
September 18, 2018 - More women veterans with chronic pain use CIH therapies than men
September 18, 2018 - As Earth Warms, Heat-Related Deaths Will Multiply
September 18, 2018 - Labetalol use up for patients with preeclampsia and asthma
September 18, 2018 - MoreGrasp project shows significant results in field of thought-controlled grasp neuroprosthetics
September 18, 2018 - Drumming can benefit school children with autism
September 18, 2018 - Busyness can help people to make virtuous choices, research shows
September 18, 2018 - Two-minute bursts of in-class exercise breaks do not disrupt learning and teaching
September 18, 2018 - New online tools aid surgeons and specialists who care for older people
September 18, 2018 - Researchers use CRISPR to identify gene that helps cells resist flavivirus infection
September 18, 2018 - Brain’s support cells may play a central role in repetitive behaviors related to OCD
September 18, 2018 - Scientists discover novel mechanism by which synthesized proteins reach target compartment in cell
September 18, 2018 - Easy and rapid test for viral infections can cut antibiotic use, hospitalizations
September 18, 2018 - Gunshot victims more likely to require blood transfusions and die than other trauma patients
September 18, 2018 - Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals Announces Initiation of Phase 1b/2 Clinical Trial of Sapacitabine With Olaparib in BRCA Mutant Breast Cancer
September 18, 2018 - Older adults fitted with cochlear implants exhibit poor brain function
September 18, 2018 - Inexpensive testing spurs cancer patients’ relatives to assess own disease risk | News Center
September 18, 2018 - Aging may have originated at the very beginning of life, says study
September 18, 2018 - New research on sperm quality updates advice for couples trying to conceive
September 18, 2018 - Paracetamol use in infancy may increase risk of developing asthma by the age of 18
September 18, 2018 - Promising gene therapy for ‘day blind’ sheep now safe for clinical trials in human patients
September 18, 2018 - New research shows evidence of soot from polluted air in placentas
September 17, 2018 - Expanding primary care buprenorphine treatment could curb opioid overdose crisis
September 17, 2018 - A look inside the child detention centers near the U.S. border
September 17, 2018 - New issue considers role of coronary angiography after cardiac arrest
September 17, 2018 - Scientists explore whether seafood could be the source of next anti-cancer drug
September 17, 2018 - Epidural stimulation aids in recovery of individuals with spinal cord injury
September 17, 2018 - ATS publishes new guideline on role of weight management in sleep apnea treatment
September 17, 2018 - Study reveals long-term safety, efficacy of Ofev in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
September 17, 2018 - Risks Posed by Spreading Oil and Gas Wastewater on Roads
September 17, 2018 - How to choose a nursing home: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
September 17, 2018 - Death from touching fentanyl? A myth, says Trump administration training video
September 17, 2018 - Physician or physician-scientist — a new curriculum at the School of Medicine trains both
September 17, 2018 - Why Genetic Mutations Cause Disease in Some People but Not Others
September 17, 2018 - EU-funded project makes recommendations to protect rights of intersex people
September 17, 2018 - Discovery of unusual biosynthetic pathways could aid in the search for new natural products
September 17, 2018 - FDA approves Teva’s AJOVY injection for preventive treatment of migraine in adults
September 17, 2018 - People battling substance use disorders may benefit from meth-relapse prevention compound
September 17, 2018 - Inhaled steroid use linked to greater risk of NTM lung infections
September 17, 2018 - KKH develops new test to enable faster diagnosis of critically ill children with rare diseases
September 17, 2018 - How to Reassure Kids When Florence Strikes
Microscopic insect odour detecting mechanisms discovered

Microscopic insect odour detecting mechanisms discovered

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Researchers at Rockefeller have used an ultra sensitive device to detect the olfactory systems of insects that help them smell out food and danger. The study titled, “Cryo-EM structure of the insect olfactory receptor Orco,” on the ion channels that form the basis of the odour detecting systems of insects was published in the latest issue of the journal Nature.

Researchers Vanessa Ruta and her colleagues have described the structure of an ion channel that is the basis of the smelling mechanism of insects. They write about the different varieties of such channels which have evolved so that insects of different kinds can smell differently. For example while mosquitoes can smell out blood, flies can smell out rotting food and butterflies can smell nectar containing flowers.

Around two decades back Leslie Vosshall, the Robin Chemers Neustein Professor at Rockefeller, had first identified odour detecting receptors in insects. He and his team then had found that these receptors differ from the olfactory receptors in humans and other animals. The exact nature of these receptors and how they functioned was still elusive until this new research. The latest research uses electron microscopy to see how these ion channels look and understand how they function.

The authors of the study speculate that diverse range of insects has tens of millions of receptor varieties that have evolved with time. Each of these receptors can detect specific chemicals with perfect accuracy. Their functions however are similar, the authors explain. These receptors form an ion channel. This is like a passage way that connects the inside of the cell with the outside. The passage allows only charged ions or particles. The channel remains closed. It opens only when the outer gate of the channel meets the specific chemical or the odorant.

Ruta, the Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden associate professor in a statement explained, “Insect odorant receptors are very likely the largest family of ion channels in nature, and they’re incredibly diverse. So we were faced with a fundamental mystery: How do you get millions of variants of a channel that are so different but that all do the same thing?”

To understand the details of the channel they looked at a subunit of the ion channel called the Orco. Each of these channels were found to be made up of one Orco protein and a odorant receptor protein that would identify the smell.

The receptor protein varied from species to species giving the receptor its specificity (flowers for butterflies and blood for mosquitoes for example).

The Orco however remains same for all species explained Ruta. Thus they focussed on Orco using cryoelectron microscopy and finally could define the structure of a channel made entirely of Orco proteins.

This channel was called the Orco homomer. The channel had a central pore or a hole that allowed ions to flow. The channel itself had four subunits that were bound at a single point using an anchor domain.

Ruta explained that the channel looked like a “bouquet with each flower held together at the center and the stalks splaying apart in different directions.”

Ruta said that once they observed the features of the Orco homomer, they could understand how it worked. Joel Butterwick, lead author on the study said that the Orco was performing two roles and was keeping everything together. It was also helping in the channel function, he explained.

The binding site of the chemical odorant evolved freely because the main structure was held fast by the Orco he said.

Ruta said that this study could pave the way to develop better insect repellents and reduce the insect vector borne diseases that plague mankind.

Source:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0420-8

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles