Genetic Depletion of Class I Odorant Receptors Impacts Perception of Carboxylic Acids

Annika Cichy, Ami Shah, Adam Dewan, Sarah Kaye, Thomas C Bozza*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The mammalian main olfactory pathway detects myriad volatile chemicals using >1,000 odorant receptor (OR) genes, which are organized into two phylogenetically distinct classes (class I and class II). An important question is how these evolutionarily conserved classes contribute to odor perception. Here, we report functional inactivation of a large number of class I ORs in mice via identification and deletion of a local cis-acting enhancer in the class I gene cluster. This manipulation reduced expression of half of the 131 intact class I genes. The resulting class I-depleted mice exhibited a significant reduction in the number of glomeruli responding to carboxylic acids—chemicals associated with microbial action and body odors. These mice also exhibit a change in odor perception marked by a selective loss of behavioral aversion to these compounds. Together, our data demonstrate that class I ORs play a critical role in representing a class of biologically relevant chemosignals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2687-2697.e4
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume29
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 19 2019

Keywords

  • carboxylic acids
  • enhancer
  • monoallelic expression
  • mouse
  • odor aversion
  • odorant receptor
  • olfaction
  • olfactory bulb
  • olfactory epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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