Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Neurosci. 2015 Oct;18(10):1446-54. doi: 10.1038/nn.4104. Epub 2015 Aug 31.

Molecular profiling of activated olfactory neurons identifies odorant receptors for odors in vivo.

Author information

Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.
University Program in Genetics and Genomics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.
Department of Statistical Science, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA.
Department of Neurobiology, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.


The mammalian olfactory system uses a large family of odorant receptors (ORs) to detect and discriminate amongst a myriad of volatile odor molecules. Understanding odor coding requires comprehensive mapping between ORs and corresponding odors. We developed a means of high-throughput in vivo identification of OR repertoires responding to odorants using phosphorylated ribosome immunoprecipitation of mRNA from olfactory epithelium of odor-stimulated mice followed by RNA-Seq. This approach screened the endogenously expressed ORs against an odor in one set of experiments using awake and freely behaving mice. In combination with validations in a heterologous system, we identified sets of ORs for two odorants, acetophenone and 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT), encompassing 69 OR-odorant pairs. We also identified shared amino acid residues specific to the acetophenone or TMT receptors and developed models to predict receptor activation by acetophenone. Our results provide a method for understanding the combinatorial coding of odors in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center