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Conference Paper

Odorant-binding proteins: Expression and function


Steinbrecht,  Rudolf Alexander
Verhaltensphysiologie, Seewiesen, Max Planck Institut für Ornithologie, Max Planck Society;

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Steinbrecht, R. A. (1998). Odorant-binding proteins: Expression and function. In C. Murphy (Ed.), Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences - Olfaction and Taste XII: An International Symposium (pp. 323-332). New York: New York Academy of Sciences.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000C-8DAE-2
Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) are a major constituent of the aqueous perireceptor compartment in vertebrates and in insects. Although different in primary structure, they are supposed to serve similar functions in both animal groups: (i) OBPs may act as solubilizers and carriers of the lipophilic odorants in the aqueous mucus or sensillum lymph; (ii) OBPs may act in addition as peripheral filters in odor discrimination by selectively binding certain classes of odorants; (iii) OBPs may present the stimulus molecule in a particular way to the receptor proteins to facilitate signal transduction; (iv) OBPs may clean the perireceptor space from unwanted and toxic compounds; (v) OBPs may rapidly deactivate odorants after stimulation of the receptors. Experimental evidence in favor of this multiple role of OBPs is reviewed.