Typically, 0.1% of the total number of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) in the main olfactory epithelium express the same odorant receptor (OR) in a singular fashion and their axons coalesce into homotypic glomeruli in the olfactory bulb. Here, we have dramatically increased the total number of OSNs expressing specific cloned OR coding sequences by multimerizing a 21-bp sequence encompassing the predicted homeodomain binding site sequence, TAATGA, known to be essential in OR gene choice. Singular gene choice is maintained in these ‘‘MouSensors.’’ In vivo synaptopHluorin imaging of odor-induced responses by known M71 ligands shows functional glomerular activation in an M71 MouSensor. Moreover, a behavioral avoidance task demonstrates that specific odor detection thresholds are significantly decreased in multiple transgenic lines, expressing mouse or human ORs. We have developed a versatile platform to study gene choice and axon identity, to create biosensors with great translational potential, and to finally decode human olfaction.
D'Hulst, Charlotte; Mina, Raena B.; Gershon, Zachary; Jamet, Sophie; Cerullo, Antonio; Tomoiaga, Delia; Bai, Li; Belluscio, Leonardo; Rogers, Matthew E.; Sirotin, Yevgeniy; and Feinstein, Paul, "MouSensor: A Versatile Genetic Platform to Create Super Sniffer Mice for Studying Human Odor Coding" (2016). CUNY Academic Works.