Deorphanization and characterization of human olfactory receptors in heterologous cells (Chem Biodivers. 2014. n°11; 11; 1764-1781)

November 30, 2014Publications


Olfaction plays an indispensable role in human and animals in self and environmental recognition, as well as intra- and interspecific communication. Following the discovery of a family of olfactory receptors (ORs) by Buck and Axel in 1991, it has been established that the sense of smell begins with the molecular recognition of a chemical odorant by one or more ORs expressed in the olfactory sensory neurons. Therefore, characterization of the molecular interactions between odorant molecules and ORs is a key step in the elucidation of the general properties of the olfactory system and in the development of applications, i.e., design of new odorants, search for blockers, etc. The process putted in place at ChemCom to improve the expression of ORs at the cytoplasmic membrane of the HEK293 cell and assays enabling large-scale deorphanization, and to characterize the interaction between chemical odorants and ORs is described. The family of human ORs includes ca. 400 putatively functional ORs which are GPCRs (G protein-coupled receptors); to date over 100 human ORs have been deorphanized.