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Cameleon is a genetically engineered Ca2+ sensing molecule consisting of two variants of the green fluorescent protein (GFP), calmodulin and calmodulin-binding protein, M13. HEK-293 cells stably expressing three types of cameleons, yellow cameleon-2, cameleon-3er, and cameleon-2nu, were constructed, and the expression and localization of these cameleons were confirmed by fluorescent imaging. Among the cameleons, the yellow cameleon-2 was selected for analyzing the change in Ca2+ induced by the olfactory receptor-mediated signal transduction, because it is localized in the cytosol and binds to cytosolic Ca2+ ions. Cells stably expressing yellow cameleon-2 were transfected with each of the test olfactory receptor genes, odr-l0 and 17, and the expression of the olfactory receptor genes were examined using immunocytochemical methods and RT-PCR. Stimulating each olfactory receptor with its specific odorant caused an increase in the intracellular Ca2+ level, which was measured using yellow cameleon-2. These results demonstrate that yellow cameleon-2 can be conveniently used to examine the function of the olfactory receptors expressed in heterologous cells.


Hwi Jin Ko, Tai Hyun Park. Functional analysis of olfactory receptors expressed in a HEK-293 cell system by using cameleons. Journal of microbiology and biotechnology. 2007 Jun;17(6):928-33

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PMID: 18050910

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