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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Oct 1;93(20):10897-902.

Organization and expression of canine olfactory receptor genes.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.


Four members of the canine olfactory receptor gene family were characterized. The predicted proteins shared 40-64% identity with previously identified olfactory receptors. The four subfamilies identified in Southern hybridization experiments had as few as 2 and as many as 20 members. All four genes were expressed exclusively in olfactory epithelium. Expression of multiple members of the larger subfamilies was detected, suggesting that most if not all of the cross-hybridizing bands in genomic Southern blots represented actively transcribed olfactory receptor genes. Analysis of large DNA fragments using Southern blots of pulsed-field gels indicated that subfamily members were clustered together, and that two of the subfamilies were closely linked in the dog genome. Analysis of the four olfactory receptor gene subfamilies in 26 breeds of dog provided evidence that the number of genes per subfamily was stable in spite of differential selection on the basis of olfactory acuity in scent hounds, sight hounds, and toy breeds.

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