Structural studies of mosquito odorant receptors
Olfactory perception is a key factor driving various behaviors in insects, including host selection in a number of significant human disease vectors. Odorant receptors (ORs), a group of membrane proteins involved in olfactory signal transduction, facilitate the perception of different airborne compounds such as pheromones. Diversity and evolution of these receptors are thus determinants of many species specific qualities such as host, mate and habitat selection. While the ligand specificities of many ORrs have been successfully elucidated, structural information required for making connections between sequence, structure and function has been sparse. Our aim is to shed light on the structure-function relationships of these receptors through protein structure studies, utilizing cryo-EM and x-ray crystallography on selected ORs, with focus on receptors from the mosquito species Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae.
Postdoctoral researcher: Topi Haataja
Supervision: Dr. Mats Sandgren (SLU), Dr. Sharon Hill (SLU), Prof. Rickard Ignell (SLU), and Prof. Christer Löfstedt (LU).