The major urinary proteins (MUPs) are proteins secreted by the liver and filtered by the kidneys into the urine of adult male mice and rats, the MUPs of rats being also referred to as alpha(2U)-globulins. The MUP family also comprises closely related proteins excreted by exocrine glands of rodents, independently of their sex. The MUP family is an expression of a multi-gene family. There is complex hormonal and tissue-specific regulation of MUP gene expression. The multi-gene family and its outflow are characterized by a polymorphism which extends over species, strains, sexes, and individuals. There is evidence of evolutionary conservation of the genes and their outflow within the species and evidence of change between species. MUPs share the eight-stranded beta-barrel structure lining a hydrophobic pocket, common to lipocalins. There is also a high degree of structural conservation between mouse and rat MUPs. MUPs bind small natural odorant molecules in the hydrophobic pocket with medium affinity in the 10(4)-10(5) M(-1) range, and are excreted in the field, with bound odorants. The odorants are then released slowly in air giving a long lasting olfactory trace to the spot. MUPs seem to play complex roles in chemosensory signalling among rodents, functioning as odorant carriers as well as proteins that prime endocrine reactions in female conspecifics. Aphrodisin is a lipocalin, found in hamster vaginal discharge, which stimulates male copulatory behaviour. Aphrodisin does not seem to bind odorants and no polymorphism has been shown. Both MUPs and aphrodisin stimulate the vomeronasal organ of conspecifics.

Major urinary proteins, alpha-2U-globulins and aphrodisin

CAVAGGIONI, ANDREA;MUCIGNAT, CARLA
2000

Abstract

The major urinary proteins (MUPs) are proteins secreted by the liver and filtered by the kidneys into the urine of adult male mice and rats, the MUPs of rats being also referred to as alpha(2U)-globulins. The MUP family also comprises closely related proteins excreted by exocrine glands of rodents, independently of their sex. The MUP family is an expression of a multi-gene family. There is complex hormonal and tissue-specific regulation of MUP gene expression. The multi-gene family and its outflow are characterized by a polymorphism which extends over species, strains, sexes, and individuals. There is evidence of evolutionary conservation of the genes and their outflow within the species and evidence of change between species. MUPs share the eight-stranded beta-barrel structure lining a hydrophobic pocket, common to lipocalins. There is also a high degree of structural conservation between mouse and rat MUPs. MUPs bind small natural odorant molecules in the hydrophobic pocket with medium affinity in the 10(4)-10(5) M(-1) range, and are excreted in the field, with bound odorants. The odorants are then released slowly in air giving a long lasting olfactory trace to the spot. MUPs seem to play complex roles in chemosensory signalling among rodents, functioning as odorant carriers as well as proteins that prime endocrine reactions in female conspecifics. Aphrodisin is a lipocalin, found in hamster vaginal discharge, which stimulates male copulatory behaviour. Aphrodisin does not seem to bind odorants and no polymorphism has been shown. Both MUPs and aphrodisin stimulate the vomeronasal organ of conspecifics.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/2470000
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