Giant vesicles functionally expressing membrane receptors for an insect pheromone

Chem Commun (Camb). 2014 Mar 18;50(22):2958-61. doi: 10.1039/c3cc48216b. Epub 2014 Feb 7.


To date, biochemical approaches to membrane receptors have been limited to the following methods: knockout or overexpression of membrane receptors by gene introduction and genome engineering or extraction of membrane receptor-surfactant complexes from innate cells and their introduction into model biomembranes. Here, we describe the development of a third method involving gene expression using cell-free in situ protein synthesis inside model biomembrane capsules. We verified this method by synthesizing olfactory receptors from the silkmoth Bombyx mori inside giant vesicles and found that they were excited in the presence of their ligand the Bombyx mori sex pheromone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bombyx
  • Fatty Alcohols / metabolism
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Odorant / genetics
  • Receptors, Odorant / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Pheromone / genetics
  • Receptors, Pheromone / metabolism*
  • Sex Attractants / metabolism


  • Fatty Alcohols
  • Insect Proteins
  • Receptors, Odorant
  • Receptors, Pheromone
  • Sex Attractants
  • enhanced green fluorescent protein
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • bombykol