Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scent Prediction

18.04.2007
Lily of the valley fragrance: electronic surface structure determines interactions with scent receptors

The scent of lily of the valley hangs in the air for readers of the journal Angewandte Chemie: just rub the journal’s cover and enjoy a lily-of-the-valley scent. Lily-of-the-valley scent components can also be found within the pages of the journal: an interdisciplinary team headed by Reinhold Tacke (Inorganic Chemistry, University of Würzburg), Philip Kraft (Scent Research, Givaudan Schweiz Inc.), and Hanns Hatt (Cell Biology, University of Bochum) have attempted a “scent prediction” to test their computer model of lily-of-the-valley fragrance receptor hOR17-4. This molecule was characterized in detail as the first human scent receptor by Hatt and his co-workers, who also discovered it in sperm.

A fragrance is usually composed of a mixture of many different scented substances. Each of these individual substances can react with several of the approximately 347 scent receptors in our nose and show a complex scent. “When developing new fragrances, we have to rely on correlations between structure and effect derived from model substances as well as intuition,” says Kraft. With the help of sperm, however, it is possible to study the lily-of-the-valley receptor in virtual isolation and simulate the primary process of scent sensing by computer.

An olfactory receptor responds to a scent molecule when it fits into the receptor’s binding cavity. If the structure of the cavity is known, it should be possible to use computer models to predict whether a scent activates the receptor in question and to what degree. To prove this theory, the scientists investigated how the replacement of one carbon atom with a silicon atom affects the scent of lily-of-the-valley fragrance components lilial and bourgeonal, and whether this subtle alteration, which has minimal influence on the molecular shape, can also be predicted quantitatively. The human nose was indeed fooled. Tacke says, “All four of the synthesized compounds had the typical floral aldehydic lily-of-the-valley fragrance, but didn’t smell completely identical.” However, near their threshold levels, it was no longer possible to tell these scents apart. “Only the most sensitive lily-of-the-valley receptor is activated at these concentrations,” explains Hatt.

... more about:
»lily-of-the-valley »receptor »scent

On the basis of calculated binding energies, the team had made a prediction of the scent intensities as well as the sensitivity of sperm to the test molecules. These predictions corresponded very closely to the experimentally observed results. As expected, the odor thresholds were significantly higher for the silicon analogues than for lilial and bourgeonal.

“Our computer calculations are exclusively based on the surface shape of the scent molecules, which is defined by their electrons,” explain the researchers. “These results thus unambiguously prove that it is this electronic surface structure of a molecule that determines the interaction between a scent molecule and its olfactory receptors—and thus defines its fragrance.”

Author: Reinhold Tacke, Universität Würzburg (Germany),
http://www-anorganik.chemie.uni-wuerzburg.de/forschungsgruppen/prof_dr_r_tacke/startseite/

Title: Prediction of Perception: Probing the hOR17-4 Olfactory Receptor Model with Silicon Analogues of Bourgeonal and Lilial

Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2007, 46, No. 18, 3367–3371, doi: 10.1002/anie.200605002

| Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org

Further reports about: lily-of-the-valley receptor scent

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>