A University of Wyoming researcher and his team have discovered that separating male and female mice, over time, changes the way they smell. The study investigates how the olfactory sensory receptors in mice change as a function of exposure to odors emitted from members of the opposite sex, says Stephen Santoro, an assistant professor in the Department of Zoology and Physiology. On the other hand, mice that were housed separately by sex have sex-specific differences in their olfactory receptors. As a result, they may perceive odors differently. Papers published by the journal represent important advances of significance to specialists within each field.
Identification of ligands for olfactory receptors by functional expression of a receptor library
Computational prediction of how strongly an olfactory receptor OR responds to various odors can help in bridging the widening gap between the large number of receptors that have been sequenced and the small number of experiments measuring their responses. Previous efforts in this area have predicted the responses of a receptor to some odors, using the known responses of the same receptor to other odors. Here, we present a method to predict the responses of a receptor without any known responses by using available data about the responses of other conspecific receptors and their sequences. We applied this method to ORs in insects Drosophila melanogaster both adult and larva and Anopheles gambiae and to mouse and human ORs. We found the predictions to be in significant agreement with the experimental measurements. The method also provides clues about the response-determining positions within the receptor sequences. Keywords: drosophila; anopheles; olfaction; olfactory; receptors.