A taste tissue cDNA library of the fleshly Boettcherisca peregrina was screened with a subtracted cDNA probe enriched with taste-receptor-tissue-specific cDNA. Seven genes were identified with sequence similarity to insect odorant-binding protein (OBP) genes. The predicted amino acid sequences of the genes contain the putative signal peptide sequence at the N-terminal and most of them conserve the six cysteines common to known insect OBPs. These genes show a high degree of sequence divergence with ∼20% amino acid identity. The most striking feature was that all seven of these genes are expressed mainly in the taste tissues, such as the labellum and tarsus, unlike the known insect OBP genes expressed in olfactory tissue. The predicted amino acid sequences had the highest degree of sequence similarity to the Drosophila melanogaster OBPs named pheromone binding protein-related proteins (PBPRPs). These gene products are here referred to as gustatory PBP-related proteins (GPBPRPs) 1-7. Homologous GPBPRP genes were found also in D. melanogaster by database search and are shown to be expressed in Drosophila taste tissues.
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