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


Editor's Summary

To Shape a Smell?
Our ability to detect and discriminate among the numerous odorous compounds to which we are exposed depends on odorant recognition by members of a large family of heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide–binding protein (G protein)–coupled odorant receptors (ORs). However, the specific physicochemical properties that enable a particular odorant to act as a ligand for a particular receptor—and thus the initial stage in determining how that odorant is perceived—remain unclear. Saito et al. used a heterologous expression system to test the responses of a large library of human and mouse ORs with a panel of 93 odorants. Analysis of ligand properties and OR sequences enabled the authors to develop a model for predicting interactions between ORs and their ligands.

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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