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


  • We would like to thank Alain E. Alchenberger (Givaudan) for the olfactory evaluation and Katarina Grman (Givaudan) for determining the GC thresholds. P.K. is grateful to Boris Schilling and Stephan Bieri (both Givaudan) for stimulating discussions on the biochemistry of olfaction. L.D. is grateful to Givaudan Schweiz AG for financial support.


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Sense and sensibility: Silicon analogues of the lily-of-the-valley odorants lilial and bourgeonal demonstrate that the electronic surface structure determines the interaction of an odorant with its olfactory receptor. The subtle changes in the stereoelectronic properties enable a comparison of in vivo, in vitro, and in silico data. Odor thresholds, as well as the swimming behavior of sperm cells, correlate well with the binding energies obtained from a computational model of the hOR17-4 receptor.