Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications vol:237 issue:2 pages:283-287
Olfactory receptor genes constitute the largest family of G protein-coupled receptors. We have previously shown that members of this family are expressed during spermatogenesis, and that the corresponding proteins are displayed on mature sperm cells. In each mammalian species, a restricted subset of olfactory receptors is expressed in male germ cells and displays a pattern of expression suggestive of their potential implication in the control of sperm physiology. In addition to the cDNA fragments available previously, we now report the molecular cloning of two olfactory receptor cDNAs from a human testis library. Five olfactory receptor genes expressed in germ cells were localized in the human genome by radiation hybrid mapping. Three of the genes map to the short arm of chromosome 19 (19p13.1-19p31.3), one to chromosome 11 (11q22.1-22.3), and one to chromosome 17 (17q21-22). The former two localizations fall within clusters previously identified for members of the putative olfactory receptor gene family expressed in olfactory mucosa. Similarly, sequence analysis has revealed that these testicular genes share no distinctive structural features from the other, non-testicular, members of the family. The expression of a subset of olfactory receptor genes in the male germ line is therefore not correlated to their belonging to a specific structural subgroup, or to a specific gene cluster or chromosomal segment.