Pheromone biosynthesis-activating neuropeptide (PBAN) and pyrokinins belong to a family of insect peptide hormones that have a common FXPRLamide C-terminal ending. The G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) for this peptide family were first identified from a moth and Drosophila with sequence similarity to neuromedin U receptors from vertebrates. We have characterized the PBAN-receptor (PBAN-R or PR) active binding domains using chimeric GPCRs and proposed that extracellular loop 3 is critical for ligand selection. Here, we characterized the 3rd extracellular domain of PBAN-R through site-directed point mutations. Results are discussed in context of the structural features required for receptor activation using receptor activation experiments and in silico computational modeling. This research will help in characterizing these receptors towards a goal of finding agonists and/or antagonists for PBAN/pyrokinin receptors.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/russell_jurenka/9/