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Mutat Res. 2007 Mar 1;616(1-2):95-102. Epub 2006 Dec 12.

Olfactory receptor gene repertoires in mammals.

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  • 1Institut de Genetique Humaine, CNRS UPR 1142, rue de la Cardonille, 34396 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.


In mammals, olfaction is mediated by two distinct organs that are located in the nasal cavity: the main olfactory epithelium (MOE) that binds volatile odorants is responsible for the conscious perception of odors, and the vomeronasal organ (VNO) that binds pheromones is responsible for various behavioral and neuroendocrine responses between individuals of a same species. Odorants and pheromones bind to seven transmembrane domain G-protein-coupled receptors that permit signal transduction. These receptors are encoded by large multigene families that evolved in mammal species in function of specific olfactory needs.

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