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The Relative Contributions of cAMP and InsP3 Pathways to Olfactory Responses in Vertebrate Olfactory Receptor Neurons and the Specificity of Odorants for Both Pathways

Authors
Journal
The Journal of General Physiology
0022-1295
Publisher
The Rockefeller University Press
Publication Date
Volume
122
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1085/jgp.200308910
Keywords
  • Commentary
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

T he J ou rn al o f G en er al P hy si ol og y 247 J. Gen. Physiol. © The Rockefeller University Press • 0022-1295/2003/09/247/4 $8.00 Volume 122 September 2003 247–250 http://www.jgp.org/cgi/doi/10.1085/jgp.200308910 Commentary The Relative Contributions of cAMP and InsP 3 Pathways to Olfactory Responses in Vertebrate Olfactory Receptor Neurons and the Specificity of Odorants for Both Pathways Peter H. Barry School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia One of the recent controversies in olfaction has been the relative contribution of the cAMP and InsP 3 (IP 3 ) second messenger pathways in olfactory transduction, especially in vertebrates, and whether individual odor- ants specifically act via the two pathways. This contro- versy has been profitably addressed in a recent study by Takeuchi et al. (2003, in this issue). Odorants are known to bind to highly selective G protein–coupled receptors, heavily concentrated on the cilia and dendritic knob of each olfactory receptor neuron (ORN). From genetic studies it has been sug- gested that there are � 500–1,000 different odorant re- ceptors (e.g., in mouse) and that each ORN probably only expresses one type of receptor (Buck, 1996). Fur- thermore, the evidence suggests that ORNs of a partic- ular type converge to the same glomerulus in the olfac- tory bulb (Sullivan and Dryer, 1996). It was proposed by Sklar et al. (1986), on the basis of measurements of adenylyl (adenylate) cyclase (AC) ac- tivity, that there are two separate subgroups of odorants that mediate their response via two different trans- duction mechanisms. In one, the odorant response is mediated via adenosine 3 � ,5 � -cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) and in the other, the response was considered to be mediated by another separate transduction sys- tem. They found that the responses of a large

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