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Antennal enriched odorant binding proteins are required for odor communication in Glossina f. fuscipes

Diallo, S.
Shahbaaz, M.
Makwatta, J.O.
Muema, J.M.
Masiga, D.
Christofells, A.
Getahun, M.N.
Olfaction is orchestrated at different stages and involves various proteins at each step. For example, odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) are soluble proteins found in sensillum lymph that might encounter odorants before reaching the odorant receptors. In tsetse flies, the function of OBPs in olfaction is less understood. Here, we investigated the role of OBPs in Glossina fuscipes fuscipes olfaction, the main vector of sleeping sickness, using multidisciplinary approaches. Our tissue expression study demonstrated that GffLush was conserved in legs and antenna in both sexes, whereas GffObp44 and GffObp69 were expressed in the legs but absent in the antenna. GffObp99 was absent in the female antenna but expressed in the male antenna. Short odorant exposure induced a fast alteration in the transcription of OBP genes. Furthermore, we successfully silenced a specific OBP expressed in the antenna via dsRNAi feeding to decipher its function. We found that silencing OBPs that interact with 1-octen-3-ol significantly abolished flies’ attraction to 1-octen-3-ol, a known attractant for tsetse fly. However, OBPs that demonstrated a weak interaction with 1-octen-3-ol did not affect the behavioral response, even though it was successfully silenced. Thus, OBPs’ selective interaction with ligands, their expression in the antenna and their significant impact on behavior when silenced demonstrated their direct involvement in olfaction.
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Glossina sp. , dsRNAi , Gene expression , Molecular docking , Odorant-binding proteins , Structural properties
Diallo S, Shahbaaz M, Makwatta JO, Muema JM, Masiga D, Christofells A, Getahun MN. Antennal Enriched Odorant Binding Proteins Are Required for Odor Communication in Glossina f. fuscipes. Biomolecules. 2021 Apr 8;11(4):541. doi: 10.3390/biom11040541.
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