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Comparative Study
, 299 (1), 92-9

Regulation of Sex Pheromone Biosynthesis in the Housefly, Musca Domestica: Relative Contribution of the Elongation and Reductive Steps

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Comparative Study

Regulation of Sex Pheromone Biosynthesis in the Housefly, Musca Domestica: Relative Contribution of the Elongation and Reductive Steps

J A Tillman-Wall et al. Arch Biochem Biophys.

Abstract

The regulation of production of the sex pheromone (Z)-9-tricosene (Z9-23:Hy) in the housefly, Musca domestica, was studied by examining the chain length specificity of the fatty acyl-CoA elongation reactions and the reductive conversion of fatty acyl-CoAs to alkenes in 1- and 4-day-old male and female houseflies. Microsomal preparations from 4-day-old female insects produced as the predominant alkene Z9-23:Hy when incubated with malonyl-CoA, NADPH, and [9,10-3H2]oleoyl-CoA (18:1-CoA), whereas microsomal preparations from 4-day-old male insects produced predominantly (Z)-9-heptacosene (Z9-27:Hy). These are the major alkenes produced in vivo by Day 4 females and males, respectively. Microsomes prepared from both Day 1 males and Day 1 females produced Z9-27:Hy as the major alkene from labeled 18:1-CoA. This is the major alkene produced in vivo by both sexes at Day 1. An examination of the chain length specificity of the elongation reactions showed that microsomes prepared from Day 4 male insects readily elongated both 18:1-CoA and 15-[15,16-3H2]tetracosenoyl-CoA (24:1-CoA) to 28-carbon moieties, whereas microsomes from Day 4 female insects did not efficiently elongate either substrate beyond 24 carbons. With high substrate concentrations, microsomes prepared from male insects converted 24:1-CoA to Z9-23:Hy more efficiently than did those from females, whereas under lower and presumably more physiological substrate concentrations, microsomes from females had slightly higher activity than did those from males. Taken together, these data show that the regulation of the chain length of the alkenes, and thus sex pheromone production, in the housefly resides predominantly in the elongation reactions and not in the step which converts the fatty acyl-CoA to hydrocarbon.

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