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G protein coupled receptors and chemosensation

Grant number: 07/50743-9
Support Opportunities:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: July 01, 2007 - December 31, 2011
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Molecular Biology
Principal Investigator:Bettina Malnic
Grantee:Bettina Malnic
Host Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):11/22611-6 - Identification of non-coding RNAs expressed in the olfactory epithelium, BP.DD


Animais detect chemical cues that are present in the environment through a large family of receptors which belong to the G protein coupled receptors superfamily (GPCRs). These receptors are expressed in specialized cell types that are involved in different functions. Odorant receptors are expressed in the olfactory sensory neurons of the nose, taste receptors are expressed in the taste cells of the tongue, and pheromone receptors are expressed in the sensory neurons of the vomeronasal organ. Ligand induced activation of these receptors ultimately results in sensory perception. The aim of the present project is to analyze the following aspects relative to two different GPCR mediated sensorial modalities, smell and taste: 1) we will study the mechanisms of odorant signal transduction regulation in vivo. The role of Ric-8B, a putative GEF (guanine nucleotide exchange factor) which has been previously identified in our laboratory and shown to regulate the olfactory G protein Golf, will be analyzed; 2) mice have around 1000 OR genes, however, only one OR gene allele is expressed per olfactory sensory neuron. We will investigate the mechanisms that regulate OR gene expression in olfactory sensory neurons; 3) sweet tastants are detected bya heterodimer of GPCRs, constituted by the T1R2 and T1R3 receptors. We aim to isolate molecules that modulate human sweet receptor function. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
Los misterios de los aromas 
The mysteries of smells 
Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
Articles published in other media outlets (0 total):
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