Chemoreception in Nassarius obsoletus: The Role of Specific Stimulatory Proteins

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Science  15 Oct 1971:
Vol. 174, Issue 4006, pp. 293-295
DOI: 10.1126/science.174.4006.293


Proteins in human plasma and oyster fluid induce a strong feeding response in the marine snail Nassarius obsoletus. Purified human serum albumin induces a 50 percent positive response at concentrations of 1 to 2 x 10-9 molar. Adsorbed fatty acids markedly decrease the effectiveness of albumin. From oyster fluid a major glycoprotein has been isolated which accounts for essentially the entire stimulatory activity of the fluid and is effective at concentrations of approximately 1 to 2 x 10-10 molar. These findings provide evidence that specific proteins in extremely low concentrations may play a major role in chemoreception in aquatic animals.