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Biophys J. 2006 Jul 1;91(1):179-88. Epub 2006 Apr 7.

Clustering of cyclic-nucleotide-gated channels in olfactory cilia.

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Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology, and Anatomy, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0667, USA.


Olfactory cilia contain the known components of olfactory signal transduction, including a high density of cyclic-nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels. CNG channels play an important role in mediating odor detection. The channels are activated by cAMP, which is formed by a G-protein-coupled transduction cascade. Frog olfactory cilia are 25-200 microm in length, so the spatial distribution of CNG channels along the length should be important in determining the sensitivity of odor detection. We have recorded from excised cilia and modeled diffusion of cAMP into a cilium to determine the spatial distribution of the CNG channels along the ciliary length. The proximal segment, which in frog is the first 20% of the cilium, appears to express a small fraction of the CNG channels, whereas the distal segment contains the majority, mostly clustered in one region.

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