Olfactory expression of trace amine-associated receptors requires cooperative cis-acting enhancers

Ami Shah, Madison Ratkowski, Alessandro Rosa, Paul Feinstein, Thomas Bozza*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Olfactory sensory neurons express a large family of odorant receptors (ORs) and a small family of trace amine-associated receptors (TAARs). While both families are subject to so-called singular expression (expression of one allele of one gene), the mechanisms underlying TAAR gene choice remain obscure. Here, we report the identification of two conserved sequence elements in the mouse TAAR cluster (T-elements) that are required for TAAR gene expression. We observed that cell-type-specific expression of a TAAR-derived transgene required either T-element. Moreover, deleting either element reduced or abolished expression of a subset of TAAR genes, while deleting both elements abolished olfactory expression of all TAARs in cis with the mutation. The T-elements exhibit several features of known OR enhancers but also contain highly conserved, unique sequence motifs. Our data demonstrate that TAAR gene expression requires two cooperative cis-acting enhancers and suggest that ORs and TAARs share similar mechanisms of singular expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3797
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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