September 1, 2014 — Posters
Musk is an olfactory note that is widely used in perfumery and is found in a wide array of products, including fine fragrances, body
care, detergents etc. Originating from a natural source (glands of a Himalayan deer), most of the musks used today in the industry
follows from chemical synthesis. Four chemical families of compounds with musky notes have been identified: nitro musks, polycyclic
musks, macrocyclic musks and alicyclic (or linear) musks. Notwithstanding their commercial success, concerns have been raised
against the two first families, due to their potential danger for the human health and for the environment. Their replacement by safer
and sustainable surrogates that would preserve their typical hues constitutes a challenge for the musk producers.
The understanding of the molecular mechanisms that support the perception of the musky odor would certainly favor the
identification of this awaited new generation of musk compounds. In this context, we describe the characterization of OR5AN1, a
human olfactory receptor (OR) specifically tuned by musk molecules.