Central Role of the CNGA4 Channel Subunit in Ca2+-Calmodulin-Dependent Odor Adaptation

Science  07 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5549, pp. 2172-2175
DOI: 10.1126/science.1063224

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Heteromultimeric cyclic nucleotide–gated (CNG) channels play a central role in the transduction of odorant signals and subsequent adaptation. The contributions of individual subunits to native channel function in olfactory receptor neurons remain unclear. Here, we show that the targeted deletion of the mouse CNGA4gene, which encodes a modulatory CNG subunit, results in a defect in odorant-dependent adaptation. Channels in excised membrane patches from the CNGA4 null mouse exhibited slower Ca2+-calmodulin-mediated channel desensitization. Thus, the CNGA4 subunit accelerates the Ca2+-mediated negative feedback in olfactory signaling and allows rapid adaptation in this sensory system.

  • * Present address: Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology and Program in Neuroscience, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.

  • Present address: Department of Otolaryngology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: rreed{at}

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