Association between the rs2590498 polymorphism of Odorant Binding Protein (OBPIIa) gene and olfactory performance in healthy subjects

Giorgia Sollai
Melania Melis;MAGRI', SALVATORE;Paolo Usai;Iole Tomassini Barbarossa;Roberto Crnjar


Olfactory function varies by several orders of magnitude among healthy individuals, who may exhibit a reduced sensitivity (hyposmia), a high sensitivity (hyperosmia), or an olfactory blindness (anosmia). Environmental and genetic factors seem to account for this variability. Most of odorant molecules are hydrophobic and it has been suggested that odorants are transported to the olfactory receptors by means of odorant binding proteins (OBPs). Aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of a relationship between the olfactory performance of healthy subjects and the polymorphism in the odor binding-protein (OBPIIa) gene, the only OBP found in the olfactory epithelium of humans. Using the “Sniffin’ Sticks” Extended Test we assessed the olfactory performance in 69 subjects, who were genotyped for the rs2590498 polymorphism of the OBPIIa gene, whose major allele A has been associated with a higher retronasal perception as compared to the minor allele G. We found that subjects homozygous for the A-allele exhibited threshold scores higher than subjects homozous for the G-allele or heterozygous. In addition, subjects classified as normosmic and hyposmic differed on the basis of genotype distribution and allelic frequencies. In fact, a normosmic condition was associated with genotype AA and allele A and a hyposmic condition was associated with genotype GG and allele G. In conclusion, our results show that a relationship exists between the physiological variations of olfactory performance and the OBPIIa gene polymorphism.
Esperti anonimi
Physiological variations of olfactory performance; OBPIIa odorant binding proteins; Olfactory threshold; Sniffin' sticks test; Anosmia; Olfaction
Sollai, Giorgia; Melis, Melania; Magri', Salvatore; Usai, Paolo; Thomas, Hummel; TOMASSINI BARBAROSSA, Iole; Crnjar, ROBERTO MASSIMO
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