3.26 - Mammalian Odorant Receptor Gene Regulation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Mammals cope with the vast diversity of odor molecules by employing hundreds of odorant receptors (ORs). Each mature olfactory sensory neuron expresses only one allele of one OR gene, an adaptation that maximizes odor discrimination ability. This specificity is achieved via a developmental program of epigenetic repression and segregation of OR gene loci into compartments within the nucleus, rescue of a few OR genes from repression in each immature neuron, and an unprecedented mechanism involving interchromosomal interactions between OR gene enhancers to trigger strong expression of a single OR allele and the final maturation of the sensory neuron.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Senses
Subtitle of host publicationA Comprehensive Reference: Volume 1-7, Second Edition
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780128054093
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Chromatin modification
  • Epigenetics
  • Gene duplication
  • Gene enhancer
  • Gene promoter
  • Gene silencing
  • Heterochromatin
  • Neural development
  • Nuclear compartment
  • Odor discrimination
  • Odorant receptor
  • Olfactory epithelium
  • Olfactory sensory neuron
  • Trans-chromosomal interactions
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)
  • Neuroscience (all)


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