Cell-Based System for Identification of Olfactory Receptors

  • Peter Yi Dong
  • Naihua Natalie Gong
  • Hiroaki MatsunamiEmail author


The discovery and characterization of odorant receptors (ORs) beginning in the early 1990s have opened up the ability to study olfaction from a molecular perspective. Hundreds of OR genes that differ between organisms exist, and each gene codes for a G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) that can be activated by a large variety of odorants. Thus, the process of deorphaning, or identifying the cognate ligand(s) for each receptor, is critical for understanding how smells are perceived. This chapter reviews the usage of heterologous systems and associated accessory proteins for expressing ORs in vitro, notably the luciferase assay system for high-throughput OR screening. This in vitro method of characterizing ORs is also compared to ex vivo preparations, with a discussion of advantages and drawbacks of each supported by experimental evidence.


Olfactory Receptor Human Embryonic Kidney Cell Odorant Receptor Calcium Imaging Heterologous System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Yi Dong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Naihua Natalie Gong
    • 1
  • Hiroaki Matsunami
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Genetics and MicrobiologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeuroscienceUniversity of Pennsylvania Perelman School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurobiologyDuke Institute for Brain Sciences, Duke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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