A conserved heptapeptide sequence in the waterborne attractin pheromone stimulates mate attraction in Aplysia

Scott F. Cummins, Amy E. Nichols, Krishna Rajarathnam, Gregg Thomas Nagle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mate attraction in the marine mollusk Aplysia involves long-distance waterborne chemical signaling via the release of the peptide pheromone attractin during egg laying. Aplysia californica attractin attracts conspecifics, reduces the latency to mating, and stimulates hermaphroditic mating. Four additional members of the Aplysia attractin family have recently been characterized from Aplysia brasiliana, Aplysia fasciata, Aplysia depilans, and Aplysia vaccaria. The five sequences differ significantly, but share six cysteine residues and the strictly conserved sequence Ile30-Glu-Glu- Cys-Lys-Thr-Ser36. Attractin is attractive to geographically and evolutionarily distant species, suggesting that the conserved heptapeptide region may be important for mate attraction. Consistent with this prediction, a synthetic constrained cyclic peptide that contains the conserved heptapeptide sequence is significantly attractive in T-maze bioassays. The attractins are the first family of waterborne peptide pheromones characterized in invertebrates and are unique in that family members are not species-specific pheromonal attractants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-189
Number of pages5
JournalPeptides
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Aplysia
Conserved Sequence
Pheromones
Cyclic Peptides
Peptides
Bioassay
Cysteine
Vaccaria
Mollusca
Invertebrates
Biological Assay
Ovum

Keywords

  • Albumen gland
  • Aplysia
  • Attractin
  • Pheromone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

A conserved heptapeptide sequence in the waterborne attractin pheromone stimulates mate attraction in Aplysia. / Cummins, Scott F.; Nichols, Amy E.; Rajarathnam, Krishna; Nagle, Gregg Thomas.

In: Peptides, Vol. 25, No. 2, 01.02.2004, p. 185-189.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cummins, Scott F. ; Nichols, Amy E. ; Rajarathnam, Krishna ; Nagle, Gregg Thomas. / A conserved heptapeptide sequence in the waterborne attractin pheromone stimulates mate attraction in Aplysia. In: Peptides. 2004 ; Vol. 25, No. 2. pp. 185-189.
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