MadSci Network: Biochemistry

Re: Can pheromones change DNA?

Date: Wed Nov 24 13:24:18 2004
Posted By: Gabriel Vargas, Assistant Adjunct Professor
Area of science: Biochemistry
ID: 1096574081.Bc

"Pheromones are chemicals emitted by living organisms to send messages to 
individuals of the same species. The class most widely explored are the 
sex pheromones produced by female moths which are used to attract 
conspecific males for mating. Bombykol, the sex pheromone of the silkmoth, 
was first synthesized in 1959."
The above is from a cornell website about pheromones. Pheromones are 
thought to bind to receptors which are found in a structure in the 
mammalian nose known as the vomeronasal organ (VNO). Binding of chemicals 
to receptors leads to a series of signalling events none of which include 
changing DNA. Thus it is very unlikely that pheromones change DNA, 
although they may lead to increased transcription of genes which are coded 
by DNA.

hope this helps,
gabriel vargas md/phd

References http://www.nysaes

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