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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Olfactory marker protein ( OMP) gene deletion causes altered physiological activity of olfactory sensory neurons.

Olfactory marker protein ( OMP) is an abundant, phylogentically conserved, cytoplasmic protein of unknown function expressed almost exclusively in mature olfactory sensory neurons. To address its function, we generated OMP-deficient mice by gene targeting in embryonic stem cells. We report that these OMP-null mice are compromised in their ability to respond to odor stimull, providing insight to OMP function. The maximal electroolfactogram response of the olfactory neuroepithelium to several odorants was 20-40% smaller in the mutants compared with controls. In addition, the onset and recovery kinetics following isoamyl acetate stimulation are prolonged in the null mice. Furthermore, the ability of the mutants to respond to the second odor pulse of a pair is impaired, over a range of concentrations, compared with controls. These results imply that neural activity directed toward the olfactory bulb is also reduced. The bulbar phenotype observed in the OMP-null mouse is consistent with this hypothesis. Bulbar activity of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate limiting enzyme of catecholamine biosynthesis, and content of the neuropeptide cholecystokinin are reduced by 65% and 50%, respectively. This similarity to postsynaptic changes in gene expression induced by peripheral olfactory deafferentation or naris blockade confirms that functional neural activity is reduced in both the olfactory neuroepithelium and the olfactory nerve projection to the bulb in the OMP-null mouse. These observations provide strong support for the conclusion that OMP is a novel modulatory component of the odor detection/signal transduction cascade.[1]


  1. Olfactory marker protein (OMP) gene deletion causes altered physiological activity of olfactory sensory neurons. Buiakova, O.I., Baker, H., Scott, J.W., Farbman, A., Kream, R., Grillo, M., Franzen, L., Richman, M., Davis, L.M., Abbondanzo, S., Stewart, C.L., Margolis, F.L. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1996) [Pubmed]
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