When the rat olfactory mucosa is treated with concanavalin A, it subsequently shows diminished sensitivity towards 60% of the 112 odorants tested (as judged by the amplitude of the electro-olfactogram response). Odorants containing four to six carbon atoms tend to show the largest (absolute) diminutions, suggesting a receptor for this kind of odorant, although the structural specificity is weak. The receptor seems to be of particular importance in the detection of thiols, carboxylic acids and hydrocarbons of the above size, since these compounds loose the highest proportion of their original signal. The concanavalin A appears to be binding to the glycan of one or more cell-surface proteins. The binding may be at, or close to, at least one odorant receptor.

This content is only available as a PDF.