Exploring the odorant binding site a G-protein-couple olfactory receptor

Sayako Katada, Takatsugu Hirokawa, Kazushige Touhara

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The olfactory system has sophisticated molecular mechanisms for recognizing and discriminating an enormous number of odorants. The detection of odorants in mammals is mediated by several hundreds of olfactory receptors (ORs), which comprise the largest superfamily of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in the genome. Because GPCRs are major targets for therapeutic application, ample experimental data and computer modeling studies are available on some GPCRs. However, even though ORs represent approximately one half of all GPCRs, few structural and functional studies have been carried out for ORs. Here, we review recent studies on mechanisms underlying the molecular recognition of a large number of odorants by ORs. A combination of computational and experimental approaches has revealed the odorant-binding site of ORs. Point mutations in the odorant binding site based on the mode of odorant binding resulted in predicted changes in ligand specificity and antagonist activity, demonstrating the validity of the binding site model and indicating that it may be applied to the design of useful ligands for ORs. Understanding the molecular basis for the discriminative power of the olfactory system will also provide insight into how to design agonists or antagonists of GPCRs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-131
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Computer-Aided Drug Design
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the odorant binding site a G-protein-couple olfactory receptor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this