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J Neurosci. 2009 Nov 18;29(46):14545-52. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2752-09.2009.

SR1, a mouse odorant receptor with an unusually broad response profile.

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Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


The current consensus model in mammalian olfaction is that the detection of millions of odorants requires a large number of odorant receptors (ORs) and that each OR interacts selectively with a small subset of odorants, which are typically related in structure. Here, we report the odorant response properties of an OR that deviates from this model: SR1, a mouse OR that is abundantly expressed in sensory neurons of the septal organ and also of the main olfactory epithelium. Patch-clamp recordings reveal that olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) that express SR1 respond to many, structurally unrelated odorants, and over a wide concentration range. Most OSNs expressing a gene-targeted SR1 locus that lacks the SR1 coding sequence do not show this broad responsiveness. Gene transfer in the heterologous expression system Hana3A confirms the broad response profile of SR1. There may be other mouse ORs with such broad response profiles.

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