TitleA recombinant courtship pheromone affects sexual receptivity in a plethodontid salamander
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsHouck, L, Watts, RA, Arnold, SJ, Bowen, KE, Kiemnec, KM, Godwin, HA, Feldhoff, PW, Feldhoff, RC
JournalChemical Senses
Volume33
Pagination623-631
Type of ArticleJournal Article
ISSN0379-864X
Abstract

Pheromones are important chemical signals for many vertebrates, particularly during reproductive interactions. In the terrestrial salamander Plethodon shermani, a male delivers proteinaceous pheromones to the female as part of their ritualistic courtship behavior. These pheromones increase the female's receptivity to mating, as shown by a reduction in courtship duration. One pheromone component in particular is plethodontid receptivity factor (PRF), a 22-kDa protein with multiple isoforms. This protein alone can act as a courtship pheromone that causes the female to be more receptive. We used a bacterial expression system to synthesize a single recombinant isoform of PRF. The recombinant protein was identical to the native PRF, based on mass spectrometry, circular dichroism spectra, and a behavioral bioassay that tested the effects of recombinant PRF (rPRF) on female receptivity (21% reduction in courtship duration). The rPRF appears to mimic the activity of a mixture of PRF isoforms, as well as a mixture of multiple different proteins that comprise the male courtship gland extract. Pheromones that are peptides have been characterized for some vertebrates; to date, however, rPRF is one of only 2 synthesized vertebrate proteins to retain full biological activity.

URL<Go to ISI>://WOS:000259202600005
DOI10.1093/chemse/bjn027