Minigenes impart odorant receptor-specific axon guidance in the olfactory bulb

Neuron. 2002 Aug 15;35(4):681-96. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(02)00793-6.


An olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) expresses selectively one member from a repertoire of approximately 1000 odorant receptor (OR) genes and projects its axon to a specific glomerulus in the olfactory bulb. Both processes are here recapitulated by MOR23 and M71 OR minigenes, introduced into mice. Minigenes of 9 kb and as short as 2.2 kb are selectively expressed by neurons that do not coexpress the endogenous gene but coproject their axons to the same glomeruli. Deletion of a 395 bp upstream region in the MOR23 minigene abolishes expression. In this region we recognize sequence motifs conserved in many OR genes. Transgenic lines expressing the OR in ectopic epithelial zones form ectopic glomeruli, which also receive input from OSNs expressing the cognate endogenous receptor. This suggests a recruitment through homotypic interactions between OSNs expressing the same OR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence / genetics
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics*
  • Genes, Reporter / genetics
  • Growth Cones / metabolism*
  • Growth Cones / ultrastructure
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Introns / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Olfactory Bulb / abnormalities*
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology
  • Olfactory Bulb / metabolism
  • Olfactory Pathways / abnormalities*
  • Olfactory Pathways / cytology
  • Olfactory Pathways / metabolism
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / abnormalities*
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / cytology
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / metabolism
  • Receptors, Odorant / genetics*
  • Transgenes / genetics


  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Olfr16 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, Odorant

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF247656
  • GENBANK/AF281061
  • GENBANK/X92969