Effect of the rs2890498 polymorphism of the OBPIIa gene on the human ability to smell single molecules

Melis M.
Tomassini Barbarossa I.;Crnjar R.;Sollai G.


Most odors of foods and drinks are mixtures of molecules. By means of the coupled Gas Chromatography-Olfactometry (GC-O) technique, single components of flavor mixtures can be separated, identified and verbally evaluated by subjects. The number of single molecules smelled by subjects during GC-O analysis (i.e., the number of odor-active compounds) was previously found to be linearly correlated with odor Threshold (T) score. Using the “Sniffin' Sticks” test, the same subjects were classified as normosmic or hyposmic. Hydrophobic odorants are captured and transported through the mucus layer by the odorant binding proteins (OBPs), particularly expressed in the olfactory cleft and associated with the olfactory function. In this study, subjects were genotyped for the rs2590498 (A/G) polymorphism of the OBPIIa gene, whose major allele A is associated with a higher olfactory sensitivity as compared to the minor allele G. One-way ANOVA showed a significant effect of the genotype of the OBPIIa locus on the: a) T score; b) number of odor-active compounds smelled; c) intensity perceived when sniffing the complex odor of banana. In conclusion, the threshold olfactory performance, but also the individual ability to smell single molecules, can be attributed, partly at least, to the rs2590498 polymorphism of the OBPIIa gene.
Esperti anonimi
Gas chromatography-olfactometry analysis; Human odorant binding proteins; Intensity perceived; Odor-active compounds; Sniffin’ Sticks test; Threshold olfactory performance
Melis, M.; Tomassini Barbarossa, I.; Hummel, T.; Crnjar, R.; Sollai, G.
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