OLFACTION

Mammalian smell sensation

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Science  10 Apr 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6487, pp. 150
DOI: 10.1126/science.368.6487.150-b

Olfactory receptor (OR) genes are the largest gene repertoire in the mammalian genome, representing 2 to 5% of all protein coding among species. Vertebrate OR genes were thought to have intronless coding regions, but Barnes et al. have found that this is not always the case. They inspected every OR locus in the human and mouse reference genomes, taking great care to ensure consistency of their annotation within and between species. For each OR gene, the structural features, as well as protein conservation, were considered to determine protein-coding potential and to define the coding sequence. Thirteen human and 41 mouse OR genes contained an intact coding sequence split across two exons, several of which were previously considered to be pseudogenes.

BMC Genomics 21, 196 (2020).

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