Divergent seven transmembrane receptors are candidate chemosensory receptors in C. elegans

Cell. 1995 Oct 20;83(2):207-18. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(95)90162-0.


Using their senses of taste and smell, animals recognize a wide variety of chemicals. The nematode C. elegans has only fourteen types of chemosensory neurons, but it responds to dozens of chemicals, because each chemosensory neuron detects several stimuli. Here we describe over 40 highly divergent members of the G protein-coupled receptor family that could contribute to this functional diversity. Most of these candidate receptor genes are in clusters of two to nine similar genes. Eleven of fourteen tested genes appear to be expressed in small subsets of chemosensory neurons. A single type of chemosensory neuron can potentially express at least four different receptor genes. Some of these genes might encode receptors for water-soluble attractants, repellents, and pheromones.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 1-Octanol
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Benzaldehydes / pharmacology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Helminth / genetics*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Octanols / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Smell / genetics
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Benzaldehydes
  • Octanols
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • 1-Octanol
  • benzaldehyde