Apr 11, 2007

Plethodontid modulating factor, a hypervariable salamander courtship pheromone in the three-finger protein superfamily

The FEBS Journal
Catherine A PalmerStevan J Arnold


The soluble members of the three-finger protein superfamily all share a relatively simple 'three-finger' structure, yet perform radically different functions. Plethodontid modulating factor (PMF), a pheromone protein produced by the lungless salamander, Plethodon shermani, is a new and unusual member of this group. It affects female receptivity when delivered to the female's nares during courtship. As with other plethodontid pheromone genes, PMF is hyperexpressed in a specialized male mental (chin) gland. Unlike other plethodontid pheromone genes, however, PMF is also expressed at low levels in the skin, liver, intestine and kidneys of both sexes. The PMF sequences obtained from all tissue types were highly variable, with 103 unique haplotypes identified which averaged 35% sequence dissimilarity (range 1-60%) at the protein level. Despite this variation, however, all PMF sequences contained a conserved approximately 20-amino-acid secretion signal sequence and a pattern of eight cysteines that is also found in cytotoxins and short neurotoxins from snake venoms, as well as xenoxins from Xenopus. Although they share a common cysteine pattern, PMF isoforms differ from other three-finger proteins in: (a) amino-acid composition outsi...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Conserved Sequence
Snake Venoms
Eosinophilic Non-allergic Rhinitis
Entire Chin
Genes, Reiterated
Tissue Specificity
Nares, Entire, Anterior or Posterior
Tertiary Protein Structure

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