Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Talented Sniffer: A Receptor Known For Guiding Sperm To Egg Plays A Role In The Nose

Date:
October 5, 2004
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Researchers have found that a human olfactory receptor protein previously shown to act in sperm, where it appears to help guide sperm to the egg during fertilization, is also expressed in human olfactory tissues in the nose and functions in our sense of smell. This remarkable dual capacity marks a functional range previously unknown for mammalian olfactory receptor proteins.

Researchers have found that a human olfactory receptor protein previously shown to act in sperm, where it appears to help guide sperm to the egg during fertilization, is also expressed in human olfactory tissues in the nose and functions in our sense of smell. This remarkable dual capacity marks a functional range previously unknown for mammalian olfactory receptor proteins.

Related Articles


Having sperm successfully locate the egg is a crucial step in fertilization. Recent evidence had shown that hOR17-4, a human olfactory receptor protein that is unconventionally expressed on sperm cells, appears to play a key role in sperm-egg communication and chemotaxis prior to gamete encounter. Whether this "sperm" olfactory receptor is restricted to reproductive functions or acts bi-functionally in the context of conventional olfaction has been a longstanding question.

In their current study, a team of researchers including Marc Spehr of the University of Maryland and Katlen Schwane of Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, addressed this question by using a number of experimental approaches. They demonstrated the expression of hOR17-4 in the human nose by using standard molecular techniques, whereas they tested and demonstrated the actual function of the receptor in a simple "sniffing test" as well as with electrical recordings from nasal sensory tissue (by electro-olfactogram). The findings show that, interestingly, the basic receptor function of hOR17-4 seems to be identical in both human sperm and olfactory neurons. In light of their findings, the authors propose a model in which a single receptor protein helps perform diverse chemosensory functions in the nose as well as in sperm. It is tempting to speculate that in the future, "sniffing tests" could be employed as a diagnostic tool for fertility defects associated with olfactory receptor-dependent chemotaxis in sperm.

###

Marc Spehr, Katlen Schwane, Stefan Heilmann, Gόnter Gisselmann, Thomas Hummel, and Hanns Hatt: "Dual capacity of a human olfactory receptor"

Publishing in Current Biology, Volume 14, Number 19, October 5, 2004, pages R832-R833.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Talented Sniffer: A Receptor Known For Guiding Sperm To Egg Plays A Role In The Nose." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041005081608.htm>.
Cell Press. (2004, October 5). Talented Sniffer: A Receptor Known For Guiding Sperm To Egg Plays A Role In The Nose. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041005081608.htm
Cell Press. "Talented Sniffer: A Receptor Known For Guiding Sperm To Egg Plays A Role In The Nose." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041005081608.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) — The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) — President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) — The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) — The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins