Inscent, Inc. has been involved in the identification, expression,
and characterization of chemosensory proteins from insect species
such as the malaria-transmitting mosquito, Anopheles gambiae; the
Glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca coagulata, that transmits
Pierce’s Disease, a major threat to the California wine industry;
the codling moth, Cydia pomonella, a major agricultural pest; and
Apis mellifera, the European honeybee. Taking advantage of
DNA sequence conservation across species boundaries, we have been
able to develop an extensive portfolio of insect chemosensory genes
and the necessary bioinformatic methodologies to rapidly identify
more chemosensory genes from other insect species. We have also developed
specific methods and procedures to efficiently express milligram
quantities of functional recombinant insect chemosensory proteins
Inscent, Inc. has developed two proprietary assay systems capable
identifying small molecules that interact (bind) with insect chemosensory
proteins or other proteins of interest. Both assays are based on
optical detection methodologies, and neither assay requires labeling
or any other alteration of the examined protein or the potential
The Deligo assay system is highly sensitive, as it utilizes a surface
plasmon resonance biosensor to detect molecular interactions. We
have optimized this assay to take full advantage of the sensitivity
inherent in this system while examining candidate molecules for the
ability to interact with functional insect chemosensory proteins.
The strengths of this assay system are the high sensitivity and the
ability to collect real-time interaction data. Kinetic analysis is
also possible in silico with this assay system. Deligo detects the
binding of a molecule onto any domain or region of an insect chemosensory
protein, including the ligand-binding pocket.
The Attenu assay system is a proprietary assay system Inscent, Inc.
is now developing to isolate molecules capable of interacting with
insect chemosensory proteins. Attenu is a high throughput assay system
based on fluorescence that has the potential to perform thousands
to tens of thousands of assays/day.