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Sci. Signal., 3 March 2009
Vol. 2, Issue 60, p. ra9
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2000016]

RESEARCH ARTICLES

Odor Coding by a Mammalian Receptor Repertoire

Harumi Saito 1 * {dagger} , Qiuyi Chi 1 , Hanyi Zhuang 1 {ddagger} , Hiroaki Matsunami 1 , 2 § , and Joel D. Mainland 1 {dagger} §

1 Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, Research Drive, Durham, NC 27710, USA.
2 Department of Neurobiology, Duke University Medical Center, Research Drive, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

* Present address: Department of Cell Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Research Drive, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

{dagger} These authors contributed equally to this work.

{ddagger} Present address: Department of Pathophysiology, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, People’s Republic of China.

Abstract: Deciphering olfactory encoding requires a thorough description of the ligands that activate each odorant receptor (OR). In mammalian systems, however, ligands are known for fewer than 50 of more than 1400 human and mouse ORs, greatly limiting our understanding of olfactory coding. We performed high-throughput screening of 93 odorants against 464 ORs expressed in heterologous cells and identified agonists for 52 mouse and 10 human ORs. We used the resulting interaction profiles to develop a predictive model relating physicochemical odorant properties, OR sequences, and their interactions. Our results provide a basis for translating odorants into receptor neuron responses and for unraveling mammalian odor coding.

§ To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: joel.mainland{at}gmail.com (J.D.M.) and hiroaki.matsunami{at}duke.edu (H.M.)

Citation: H. Saito, Q. Chi, H. Zhuang, H. Matsunami, J. D. Mainland, Odor Coding by a Mammalian Receptor Repertoire. Sci. Signal. 2, ra9 (2009).

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