Sequence coevolution and structure stabilization modulate olfactory receptor expression.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Olfactory receptors (ORs) belong to class A G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and are activated by a variety of odorants. To date, there is no three-dimensional structure of an OR available. One of the major bottlenecks in obtaining purified protein for structural studies of ORs is their poor expression in heterologous cells. To design mutants that enhance expression and thereby enable protein purification, we first identified computable physical properties that recapitulate OR and class A GPCR expression and further conducted an iterative computational prediction-experimental test cycle and generated human OR mutants that express as high as biogenic amine receptors for which structures have been solved. In the process of developing the computational method to recapitulate the expression of ORs in membranes, we identified properties, such as amino acid sequence coevolution, and the strength of the interactions between intracellular loop 1 (ICL1) and the helix 8 region of ORs, to enhance their heterologous expression. We identified mutations that are directly located in these regions as well as other mutations not located in these regions but allosterically strengthen the ICL1-helix 8 enhance expression. These mutants also showed functional responses to known odorants. This method to enhance heterologous expression of mammalian ORs will facilitate high-throughput "deorphanization" of ORs, and enable OR purification for biochemical and structural studies to understand odorant-OR interactions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ghosh, S; de March, CA; Branciamore, S; Kaleem, S; Matsunami, H; Vaidehi, N

Published Date

  • March 1, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 121 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 830 - 840

PubMed ID

  • 35065915

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8947990

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1542-0086

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.bpj.2022.01.015


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States