Glareosin: A novel sexually dimorphic urinary lipocalin in the bank vole, Myodes glareolus

Grace Loxley, Jennifer Unsworth, Michael Turton, Alexandra Jebb, Kathryn Lilley, Deborah Simpson, Daniel Rigden, Jane Hurst, Robert Beynon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


The urine of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) contains substantial quantities of a small protein that is expressed at much higher levels in males than females, and at higher levels in males in the breeding season. This protein was purified and completely sequenced at the protein level by mass spectrometry. Leucine/isoleucine ambiguity was completely resolved by metabolic labelling, monitoring the incorporation of dietary deuterated leucine into specific sites in the protein. The predicted mass of the sequenced protein was exactly consonant with the mass of the protein measured in bank vole urine samples, correcting for the formation of two disulfide bonds. The sequence of the protein revealed that it was a lipocalin related to aphrodisin and other odorant-binding proteins (OBPs), but differed from all OBPs previously described. The pattern of secretion in urine used for scent marking by male bank voles, and the similarity to other lipocalins used as chemical signals in rodents, suggest that this protein plays a role in male sexual and/or competitive communication. We propose the name glareosin for this novel protein to reflect the origin of the protein and to emphasize the distinction from known OBPs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number170135
Number of pages11
JournalOpen Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2017

Bibliographical note

Electronic supplementary material is available online at

Detailed methods are presented in the electronic supplementary material. The mass spectrometry proteomics data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium via the PRIDE [32] partner repository with the dataset identifier
PXD006645 and 10.6019/PXD006645

This work was funded in part by BBSRC (BB/J002631/1 and BB/M012557/1).


  • Bank vole
  • Myodes glareolus
  • glareosin
  • odorant-binding protein
  • metabolic labelling
  • mass spectrometry


Dive into the research topics of 'Glareosin: A novel sexually dimorphic urinary lipocalin in the bank vole, Myodes glareolus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this