Characterising proteins in scent marks
Robertson, D.H.L., Cheetham, S.A., Armstrong, S.D., Hurst, J.L. & Beynon, R.J. (2005) Characterisation of proteins in scent marks: proteomics meets semiochemistry. In Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 10 (Ed. R.T. Mason, M.P. LeMaster & D. Muller-Schwarze), pp.183-198 Springer, New York.
The complex and intriguing roles played by proteins and peptides in scent communication is only now beginning to emerge. New experimental strategies are required to discover the nature and role of these proteins, but the growing awareness of proteins in scents is timely. A whole range of techniques are evolving in the field of proteomics that can be directly applied to the study of scent marks and secretions. The precise way that such techniques are applied will depend on the nature of the secretion, the biological function of the protein and the aims of the study. However, these methodologies are increasingly accessible, and we can anticipate a dramatic growth in information on the role of proteins in chemical communication.