Chemical senses

A genome-wide study on the perception of the odorants androstenone and galaxolide.

PMID 22362865


Twin pairs and their siblings rated the intensity of the odorants amyl acetate, androstenone, eugenol, Galaxolide, mercaptans, and rose (N = 1573). Heritability was established for ratings of androstenone (h (2) = 0.30) and Galaxolide (h(2) = 0.34) but not for the other odorants. Genome-wide association analysis using 2.3 million single nucleotide polymorphisms indicated that the most significant association was between androstenone and a region without known olfactory receptor genes (rs10966900, P = 1.2 × 10(-7)). A previously reported association between the olfactory receptor OR7D4 and the androstenone was not detected until we specifically typed this gene (P = 1.1 × 10(-4)). We also tested these 2 associations in a second independent sample of subjects and replicated the results either fully (OR7D4, P = 0.00002) or partially (rs10966900, P = 0.010; N = 266). These findings suggest that 1) the perceived intensity of some but not all odorants is a heritable trait, 2) use of a current genome-wide marker panel did not detect a known olfactory genotype-phenotype association, and 3) person-to-person differences in androstenone perception are influenced by OR7D4 genotype and perhaps by variants of other genes.

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