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Olfactory Signal Transduction

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The olfactory system is a very efficient biological setup capable of odor information processing with neural signals. The mammalian olfactory system can recognize and discriminate a large number of different odorant molecules. The detection of chemically distinct odorants presumably results from the association of odorous ligands with specific receptors on OSNs (Olfactory Sensory Neurons). As a chemical sensor, the olfactory system detects food and influences social and sexual behavior. Activation occurs when odiferous molecules come in contact with specialized processes known as the olfactory vesicles. Within the nasal cavity, the turbinates or nasal conchae serve to direct the inspired air toward the olfactory epithelium in the upper posterior region. This area (only a few centimeters wide) contains more than 100 [...]


1.Odorant receptors on axon termini in the brain.
Barnea G, O'Donnell S, Mancia F, Sun X, Nemes A, Mendelsohn M, Axel R.
Science. 2004 Jun 4; 304(5676):1468.
2.Gene switching and the stability of odorant receptor gene choice.
Shykind BM, Rohani SC, O'Donnell S, Nemes A, Mendelsohn M, Sun Y, Axel R, Barnea G.
Cell. 2004 Jun 11; 117(6):801-15.
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