Olfactory receptors, in addition to being involved in first step of the physiological processes that leads to olfaction, occupy an important place in mammalian genomes. ORs constitute super families in these genomes. Elucidating olfactory receptor function at a molecular level can be aided by a computationally derived structure and an understanding of its interactions with odor molecules. Experimental functional analyses of olfactory receptors in conjunction with computational studies serve to validate findings and generate hypotheses. We present here a review of the research efforts in: Creating computational models of olfactory receptors, identifying binding strategies for these receptors with odorant molecules, performing medium to long range simulation studies of odor ligands in the receptor binding region, and identifying amino acid positions within the receptor that are responsible for ligand-binding and olfactory receptor activation. Written as a primer and a teaching tool, this review will help researchers extend the methodologies described herein to other GPCRs.
- Molecular dynamic simulation
- Olfactory receptors