Molecular modeling of ligand-receptor interactions in the OR5 olfactory receptor

Neuroreport. 1994 Jun 2;5(10):1297-300. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199406020-00036.


Olfactory receptors belong to the superfamily of seven transmembrane domain, G protein-coupled receptors. In order to begin analysis of mechanisms of receptor activation, a computer model of the OR5 olfactory receptor has been constructed and compared with other members of this superfamily. We have tested docking of the odor molecule lyral, which is known to activate the OR5 receptor. The results point to specific ligand-binding residues on helices III through VII that form a binding pocket in the receptor. Some of these residues occupy sequence positions identical to ligand-binding residues conserved among other superfamily members. The results provide new insights into possible molecular mechanisms of odor recognition and suggest hypotheses to guide future experimental studies using site-directed mutagenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Bacteriorhodopsins / chemistry
  • Cells, Cultured
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / immunology
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Odorant / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Odorant / genetics


  • Ligands
  • Receptors, Odorant
  • Bacteriorhodopsins
  • GTP-Binding Proteins