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Gene switching and the stability of odorant receptor gene choice.

Cell | Jun 11, 2004

Individual olfactory sensory neurons express only a single odorant receptor from a large family of genes, and this singularity is an essential feature in models of olfactory perception. We have devised a genetic strategy to examine the stability of receptor choice. We observe that immature olfactory sensory neurons that express a given odorant receptor can switch receptor expression, albeit at low frequency. Neurons that express a mutant receptor gene switch receptor transcription with significantly greater probability, suggesting that the expression of a functional odorant receptor elicits a feedback signal that terminates switching. This process of receptor gene switching assures that a neuron will ultimately express a functional receptor and that the choice of this receptor will remain stable for the life of the cell.

Pubmed ID: 15186780 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Animals | Apoptosis | Cell Differentiation | Cell Lineage | Feedback, Physiological | Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental | Genes, Reporter | Green Fluorescent Proteins | Growth Cones | Integrases | Luminescent Proteins | Mice | Mice, Inbred C57BL | Mutation | Olfactory Bulb | Olfactory Receptor Neurons | RNA, Messenger | Receptors, Odorant | Smell | Synapses | Transcriptional Activation | Viral Proteins

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Associated grants

  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: 2P01CA23767

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