Olfactory receptor signaling is regulated by the post-synaptic density 95, Drosophila discs large, zona-occludens 1 (PDZ) scaffold multi-PDZ domain protein 1

FEBS J. 2009 Dec;276(24):7279-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2009.07435.x.


The unique ability of mammals to detect and discriminate between thousands of different odorant molecules is governed by the diverse array of olfactory receptors expressed by olfactory sensory neurons in the nasal epithelium. Olfactory receptors consist of seven transmembrane domain G protein-coupled receptors and comprise the largest gene superfamily in the mammalian genome. We found that approximately 30% of olfactory receptors possess a classical post-synaptic density 95, Drosophila discs large, zona-occludens 1 (PDZ) domain binding motif in their C-termini. PDZ domains have been established as sites for protein-protein interaction and play a central role in organizing diverse cell signaling assemblies. In the present study, we show that multi-PDZ domain protein 1 (MUPP1) is expressed in the apical compartment of olfactory sensory neurons. Furthermore, on heterologous co-expression with olfactory sensory neurons, MUPP1 was shown to translocate to the plasma membrane. We found direct interaction of PDZ domains 1 + 2 of MUPP1 with the C-terminus of olfactory receptors in vitro. Moreover, the odorant-elicited calcium response of OR2AG1 showed a prolonged decay in MUPP1 small interfering RNA-treated cells. We have therefore elucidated the first building blocks of the putative 'olfactosome', brought together by the scaffolding protein MUPP1, a possible central nucleator of the olfactory response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mice
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / metabolism
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / physiology*
  • PDZ Domains / physiology*
  • Protein Transport
  • Receptors, Odorant / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Odorant / genetics
  • Receptors, Odorant / physiology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mpdz protein, mouse
  • OR2AG1 protein, human
  • Receptors, Odorant