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Science 314 (5799): 657-661

Copyright © 2006 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Odorant Receptor–Derived cAMP Signals Direct Axonal Targeting

Takeshi Imai,1,2 Misao Suzuki,3 Hitoshi Sakano1,2*

Abstract: In mammals, odorant receptors (ORs) direct the axons of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) toward targets in the olfactory bulb. We show that cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signals that regulate the expression of axon guidance molecules are essential for the OR-instructed axonal projection. Genetic manipulations of ORs, stimulatory G protein, cAMP-dependent protein kinase, and cAMP response element–binding protein shifted the axonal projection sites along the anteriorposterior axis in the olfactory bulb. Thus, it is the OR-derived cAMP signals, rather than direct action of OR molecules, that determine the target destinations of OSNs.

1 Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113–0032, Japan.
2 Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), Japan Science and Technology Agency, Tokyo 103–0027, Japan.
3 Division of Transgenic Technology, Center for Animal Resources and Development, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto 860–0811, Japan.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: sakano{at}

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