MOR23 promotes muscle regeneration and regulates cell adhesion and migration

Dev Cell. 2009 Nov;17(5):649-61. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2009.09.004.


Odorant receptors (ORs) in the olfactory epithelium bind to volatile small molecules leading to the perception of smell. ORs are expressed in many tissues but their functions are largely unknown. We show multiple ORs display distinct mRNA expression patterns during myogenesis in vitro and muscle regeneration in vivo. Mouse OR23 (MOR23) expression is induced during muscle regeneration when muscle cells are extensively fusing and plays a key role in regulating migration and adhesion of muscle cells in vitro, two processes common during tissue repair. A soluble ligand for MOR23 is secreted by muscle cells in vitro and muscle tissue in vivo. MOR23 is necessary for proper skeletal muscle regeneration as loss of MOR23 leads to increased myofiber branching, commonly associated with muscular dystrophy. Together these data identify a functional role for an OR outside of the nose and suggest a larger role for ORs during tissue repair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Muscle Cells / cytology
  • Muscle Cells / metabolism
  • Muscle Development
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Muscular Dystrophies / genetics
  • Muscular Dystrophies / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • Receptors, Odorant / genetics
  • Receptors, Odorant / metabolism*
  • Regeneration*


  • Olfr16 protein, mouse
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Receptors, Odorant