Specificity of odorant-binding proteins: A factor influencing the sensitivity of olfactory receptor-based biosensors

Hwi Jin Ko, Sang Hun Lee, Eun Hae Oh, Tai Hyun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) primarily function in the transport of hydrophobic odorants. In this study, OBPs originating from rat and pig were cloned into a mammalian expression vector, pcDNA3, and expressed in HEK-293 cells, and their specificity for odorants and olfactory receptors was examined. Results suggest that OBPs have a high affinity for the olfactory receptors when both the OBP and receptor originate from the same species. The rat OBPs were bound not only to the rat olfactory receptor I7 but also to the odorant specific to I7. The solubility of the odorant was increased by both OBP2 and OBP3, which originate from rat, but with different efficiencies. These results demonstrate that OBPs specifically interact with odorants as well as olfactory receptors, and these interactions can influence the sensitivity of olfactory receptor-based biosensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalBioprocess and Biosystems Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) grant funded by the Korean government (MEST) (No. 2009-0080242). We thank Heinz Breer (Institute of Physiology, University Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany) for the OBP2 and OBP3 genes, Randall R. Reed (Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.) for the rho-tag gene, Akihito Yasuoka (Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution, Saitama, Japan) for the pVL-I7, and Cornelia I. Bargmann (Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, New York, USA) for the odr-10 gene.


  • HEK-293 cell
  • Odorant-binding protein
  • Olfactory receptor
  • Olfactory receptor-based biosensor


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