Olfactory Receptor Trafficking Involves Conserved Regulatory Steps

Alexander A. Gimelbrant, Shannon L. Haley, Timothy S. McClintock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Olfactory receptors are difficult to functionally express in heterologous cells. They are typically retained in the endoplasmic reticulum of cells commonly used for functional expression studies and are only released to the plasma membrane in mature cells of the olfactory receptor neuron lineage. A recently developed olfactory cell line, odora, traffics olfactory receptors to the plasma membrane when differentiated. We found that undifferentiated odora cells do not traffic olfactory receptors to their surface, even though they release the receptors to the Golgi apparatus and endosomes. This behavior differs from other cell lines tested thus far. Differentiated odora cells also properly traffic vomeronasal receptors of the VN1 type, which lack sequence similarity to olfactory receptors. ODR-4, a protein that is necessary for plasma membrane trafficking of a chemosensory receptor in nematodes, facilitates trafficking of rat olfactory receptor U131 in odora and Chinese hamster ovary cells. Olfactory receptor trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum to the plasma membrane involves at least two steps whose regulation depends on the maturation state of cells in the olfactory receptor neuron lineage. These results also indicate that some components of the regulatory mechanism are conserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7285-7290
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 9 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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