Combinatorial Receptor Codes for Odors

@article{Malnic1999CombinatorialRC,
  title={Combinatorial Receptor Codes for Odors},
  author={Bettina Malnic and Junzo Hirono and Takaaki Sato and Linda B Buck},
  journal={Cell},
  year={1999},
  volume={96},
  pages={713-723}
}
The discriminatory capacity of the mammalian olfactory system is such that thousands of volatile chemicals are perceived as having distinct odors. Here we used a combination of calcium imaging and single-cell RT-PCR to identify odorant receptors (ORs) for odorants with related structures but varied odors. We found that one OR recognizes multiple odorants and that one odorant is recognized by multiple ORs, but that different odorants are recognized by different combinations of ORs. Thus, the… 
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Searching for the Ligands of Odorant Receptors
  • B. Malnic
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  • 2007
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These studies are complicated by the extremely large size of the odorant receptor family and by the poor functional expression of these receptors in heterologous cells.
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TLDR
The longstanding combinatorial theory of olfaction is revisited and it is argued that the task of the odorant receptor is not different from that of neurotransmitter receptors localized in neuronal synapses.
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TLDR
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A pharmacological approach that uses a large and diverse pool of odorous compounds to characterize the molecular receptive field of an odor receptor found a high specificity for certain molecular features, but high tolerance for others—a strategy that enables the olfactory apparatus to be both highly discriminating, and able to recognize several thousand Odorous compounds.
Molecular Bases of Odor Discrimination: Reconstitution of Olfactory Receptors that Recognize Overlapping Sets of Odorants
TLDR
The present study uses Ca2+ imaging and single-cell reverse transcription-PCR techniques to identify mouse olfactory neurons responding to an odorant and subsequently to clone a receptor gene from the responsive cell, providing direct evidence for the existence of a receptor code.
Combinatorial Effects of Odorant Mixes in Olfactory Cortex
TLDR
It is reported that binary odorant mixes stimulate cortical neurons that are not stimulated by their individual component odorants, and proposed that merging the receptor codes of two odorants provides novel combinations of receptor inputs that stimulate neurons beyond those activated by the single odorants.
Odorant Receptor Inhibition is Fundamental to Odor Encoding
Most natural odors are complex mixtures of many volatile components, competing to bind odorant receptors (ORs) expressed in olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) of the nose. To date surprisingly little
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