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Gene. 1999 Aug 20;236(2):281-91.

Small subfamily of olfactory receptor genes: structural features, expression pattern and genomic organization.

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Institute of Physiology, University Stuttgart-Hohenheim, Garbenstrasse 30, D-70593, Stuttgart, Germany.


Olfactory receptors of the OR37 subfamily are characterized by distinct sequence features and are expressed in neurons segregated in a restricted area of the olfactory epithelium. In the present study, we have characterized the complement of OR37-like genes in the mouse. Five OR37-like genes were identified. They reside within only 60kb of DNA on chromosome 4. About 70kb distant from this cluster, two additional olfactory receptor genes are located, which are members of distinct receptor subfamilies. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the two physically linked receptors are closely related to the OR37 subfamily. Studies of gene expression showed that both genes are also expressed in clustered neuron populations located in the typical OR37 region of the epithelium. These data suggest the involvement of locus-dependent mechanisms for the spatial control of OR gene expression.

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