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J Hered. 2011 Sep-Oct;102 Suppl 1:S47-61. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esr033.

cAMP and IP3 signaling pathways in HEK293 cells transfected with canine olfactory receptor genes.

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Institute of Genetic and Development of Rennes, CNRS Unité de Recherche Mixte 6061, Faculté de Médecine, Rennes, F-35043 France.


Olfactory receptors (ORs) expressed at the cell surface of olfactory sensory neurons lining the olfactory epithelium are the first actors of events leading to odor perception and recognition. As for other mammalian ORs, few dog OR have been deorphanized, mainly because of the absence of good methodology and the difficulties encountered to express ORs at the cell surface. Within this work, our aim was 1) to deorphanize a large subset of dog OR and 2) to compare the implication of the 2 main pathways, namely the cAMP and inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (IP3) pathways, in the transduction of the olfactory message. For this, we used 2 independent tests to assess the importance of each of these 2 pathways and analyzed the responses of 47 canine family 6 ORs to a number of aliphatic compounds. We found these ORs globally capable of inducing intracellular calcium elevation through the IP3 pathway as confirmed by the use of specific inhibitors and/or a cAMP increase in response to aldehyde exposure. We showed that the implication of the cAMP or/and IP3 pathway was dependent upon the ligand-receptor combination rather than on one or the other partner. Finally, by exposing OR-expressing cells to the 21 possible pairs of C6-C12 aliphatic aldehydes, we confirmed that some odorant pairs may have an inhibitory or additive effect. Altogether, these results reinforce the notion that odorant receptor subfamilies may constitute functional units and call for a more systematic use of 2 complementary tests interrogating the cAMP and IP3 pathways when deorphanizing ORs.

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