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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2006 May 16;250(1-2):128-36. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

Odorant receptors and olfactory-like signaling mechanisms in mammalian sperm.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Program in Neuroscience, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Since their discovery in 1991, members of the odorant receptor (OR) family have been found in various ectopic tissues, including testis and sperm. It took, however, more than a decade for the first mammalian testicular ORs to be functionally characterized and implicated in a reproductively relevant scenario. Activation of hOR17-4 and mOR23 in human and mouse sperm, respectively, mediates distinct flagellar motion patterns and chemotactic behavior in various bioassays. For hOR17-4, receptor function and downstream signal transduction events are shown to be subject to pharmacological manipulation. Further insight into the basic principles that govern sperm OR operation as well as into the molecular logic that underlies OR-mediated signaling could set the stage for pioneering future applications in procreation and/or contraception.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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