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Neuron. 1999 Jul;23(3):487-98.

Functional identification of a goldfish odorant receptor.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.


The vertebrate olfactory system utilizes odorant receptors to receive and discriminate thousands of different chemical stimuli. An understanding of how these receptors encode information about an odorant's molecular structure requires a characterization of their ligand specificities. We employed an expression cloning strategy to identify a goldfish odorant receptor that is activated by amino acids-potent odorants for fish. Structure-activity analysis indicates that the receptor is preferentially tuned to recognize basic amino acids. The receptor is a member of a multigene family of G protein-coupled receptors, sharing sequence similarities with the calcium sensing, metabotropic glutamate, and V2R class of vomeronasal receptors. The ligand tuning properties of the goldfish amino acid odorant receptor provide information for unraveling the molecular mechanisms underlying olfactory coding.

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