Functional Characterization of the Mouse Olfactory Receptor mOR256-17 in Live Cells

Olfactory receptors (ORs) constitute the largest family of sensory membrane proteins in mammals. They play a key role within the olfactory system to recognize and discriminate a nearly unlimited number of structurally diverse odorant molecules. The molecular basis of OR-mediated odor signal detection and transduction is poorly understood. This is due in part to difficulties in functional expression of ORs at high yield, preventing structural and biophysical studies at the level of the receptor protein. Here we report on the heterologous expression of the mouse receptor mOR256-17 yielding an average of 106 ORs per cell in transiently transfected mammalian cells. For quantification and optimization of OR expression we employed different fluorescent tags. Green fluorescent protein fused to the C-terminus of mOR256-17 allowed quantification of total cellular OR biosynthesis, and posttranslational fluorescence labeling of a 12 amino acid polypeptide sequence at the N-terminus permitted the selective visualization and quantification of ORs at the plasma membrane using cell flow cytometry. The establishment of a mOR256-17-inducible HEK293S-TetO cell line allowed us to determine by fluorescence spectrofluorometry and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) the optimal conditions to solubilize the receptor. By screening a large odorant compound library we discovered a new selective spectrum of potent mOR256-17 specific agonists. Furthermore, by using a reporter assay that couples both Gs and Gq proteins after inhibition of adenylate cyclase by the chemical adenylyl cyclase inhibitors 9-(tetrahydro-2-furanyl)-9H-purin-6amine (SQ22536) and after the inhibition of phospholipase C by the chemical inhibitor 1-[6-[[(17β)-3-methoxyestra-1,3,5(10)-trien-17-yl]amino]hexyl]-1H-pyrrole-2,5-dione (U73122), we identified one agonist which induced the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) transduction pathway. We provided further evidence of the involvement of this second messenger (i) by employing another reporter gene specific to the Gq pathway and (ii) by using electrical impedance spectroscopy. Our attempt to create a FRET fluorophore pair system based on fluorescein arsenical hairpin (FlAsH) labeling and on carrier protein tags to study the receptor conformational changes during activation revealed that modifications in mOR256-17 sequences perturbs the correct receptor folding and prohibits its expression at the plasma membrane. Our study indicated that an essential prerequisite for achieving cell surface expression of mOR256-17 in heterologous cells is the co-expression of the accessory protein RTP1 or its short version RTP1S, which are also expressed by olfactory sensory neurons. Elsewhere, Saito and co-workers have proposed that this protein interacts with OR when the OR is expressed heterologously, but they have not provided evidence to prove the role of RTP1 towards OR. To investigate whether direct physical interactions between mOR256-17 and RTP1 occurs during receptor trafficking to the cell membrane, we labeled mOR256-17 and RTP1 orthogonally using the acyl carrier protein (ACP) and the peptidyl carrier protein (PCP) respectively. In addition, cyan fluorescent protein fused to the N-terminus of RTP1 enabled to study RTP1 biosynthesis in presence and absence of the mOR256-17; here we observed that a large portion of RTP1 remains in the endoplasmic reticulum while the mOR256-17 reaches the Golgi apparatus when it is co-expressed with RTP1S. Furthermore, by using two different RTP1S chimera, we could show that the cytosolic part of RTP1S is important for the mOR256-17 folding and trafficking.

Vogel, Horst
Pick, Horst
Lausanne, EPFL
Other identifiers:
urn: urn:nbn:ch:bel-epfl-thesis5945-3

Note: The status of this file is: EPFL only

 Record created 2013-11-25, last modified 2020-10-28

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