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The area code hypothesis revisited: Olfactory receptors and other related transmembrane receptors may function as the last digits in a cell surface code for assembling embryos

Dreyer, William J. (1998) The area code hypothesis revisited: Olfactory receptors and other related transmembrane receptors may function as the last digits in a cell surface code for assembling embryos. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 95 (16). pp. 9072-9077. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC33877. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20141202-112211975

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Abstract

Recent evidence emerging from several laboratories, integrated with new data obtained by searching the genome databases, suggests that the area code hypothesis provides a good heuristic model for explaining the remarkable specificity of cell migration and tissue assembly that occurs throughout embryogenesis. The area code hypothesis proposes that cells assemble organisms, including their brains and nervous systems, with the aid of a molecular-addressing code that functions much like the country, area, regional, and local portions of the telephone dialing system. The complexity of the information required to code cells for the construction of entire organisms is so enormous that we assume that the code must make combinatorial use of members of large multigene families. Such a system would reuse the same receptors as molecular digits in various regions of the embryo, thus greatly reducing the total number of genes required. We present the hypothesis that members of the very large families of olfactory receptors and vomeronasal receptors fulfill the criteria proposed for area code molecules and could serve as the last digits in such a code. We discuss our evidence indicating that receptors of these families are expressed in many parts of developing embryos and suggest that they play a key functional role in cell recognition and targeting not only in the olfactory system but also throughout the brain and numerous other organs as they are assembled.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.95.16.9072DOIArticle
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc33877/PubMed CentralArticle
Additional Information:© 2014 National Academy of Sciences. Edited by Masakazu Konishi, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, and approved May 27, 1998 (received for review March 9, 1998). The author would like to thank Janet Roman-Dreyer for continuing encouragement, critical reading of the manuscript, and assistance with the preparation of figures. Scott Fraser, David Laidlaw, Mark O’Dell, and Gilles Laurent read early versions of the manuscript. Their helpful suggestions are appreciated. The work was supported by royalties from the author’s inventions, including a patent royalty fund, California Institute of Technology.
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Caltech patent royalty fundUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:16
PubMed Central ID:PMC33877
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141202-112211975
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20141202-112211975
Official Citation:Dreyer, W. J. (1998). The area code hypothesis revisited: Olfactory receptors and other related transmembrane receptors may function as the last digits in a cell surface code for assembling embryos. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 95(16), 9072-9077.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:52270
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:02 Dec 2014 21:15
Last Modified:04 Jun 2020 22:00

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