Identification and characterization of novel renal sensory receptors

PLoS One. 2014 Oct 23;9(10):e111053. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111053. eCollection 2014.


Recent studies have highlighted the important roles that "sensory" receptors (olfactory receptors, taste receptors, and orphan "GPR" receptors) play in a variety of tissues, including the kidney. Although several studies have identified important roles that individual sensory receptors play in the kidney, there has not been a systematic analysis of the renal repertoire of sensory receptors. In this study, we identify novel renal sensory receptors belonging to the GPR (n = 76), olfactory receptor (n = 6), and taste receptor (n = 11) gene families. A variety of reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR screening strategies were used to identify novel renal sensory receptors, which were subsequently confirmed using gene-specific primers. The tissue-specific distribution of these receptors was determined, and the novel renal ORs were cloned from whole mouse kidney. Renal ORs that trafficked properly in vitro were screened for potential ligands using a dual-luciferase ligand screen, and novel ligands were identified for Olfr691. These studies demonstrate that multiple sensory receptors are expressed in the kidney beyond those previously identified. These results greatly expand the known repertoire of renal sensory receptors. Importantly, the mRNA of many of the receptors identified in this study are expressed highly in the kidney (comparable to well-known and extensively studied renal GPCRs), and in future studies it will be important to elucidate the roles that these novel renal receptors play in renal physiology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Ligands
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / metabolism
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / metabolism*
  • Taste Buds / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Ligands
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled