Genetic disruptions of O/E2 and O/E3 genes reveal involvement in olfactory receptor neuron projection

Song S. Wang, Joseph W. Lewcock, Paul Feinstein, Peter Mombaerts, Randall R. Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


The mammalian Olf1/EBF (O/E) family of repeated helix-loop-helix (rHLH) transcription factors has been implicated in olfactory system gene regulation, nervous system development and B-cell differentiation. Ebf (O/E1) mutant animals showed defects in B-cell lineage and brain regions where it is the only O/E family member expressed, but the olfactory epithelium appeared unaffected and olfactory marker expression was grossly normal in these animals. In order to further study the mammalian O/E proteins, we disrupted O/E2 and O/E3 genes in mouse and placed tau-lacZ and tau-GFP reporter genes under the control of the respective endogenous O/E promoters. Mice mutant for each of these genes display reduced viability and other gene-specific phenotypes. Interestingly, both O/E2 and O/E3 knockout mice as well as O/E2/O/E3 double heterozygous animals share a common phenotype: olfactory neurons (ORN) fail to project to dorsal olfactory bulb. We suggest that a decreased dose of O/E protein may alter expression of O/E target genes and underlie the ORN projection defect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1377-1388
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Axon targeting
  • Olfactory
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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