Jérôme Golebiowski



  • Professor
  • Adjunct Pr. at DGIST, Rep. of Korea
  • Ph D in theoretical chemistry

Tel: +33 (0)4 92 07 61 20

Fax:+33 (0)4 92 07 61 25



olfactory receptor

Hot news!

Odorant Receptors: Chemists are back to business!

Congrats to my former PhD student Claire de March for her FOUR PhD awards !:

- ENSC Rennes 2016 2nd best thesis
- SCF PACA 2016 best thesis
- GEM 2016 best thesis
- GIRACT 2016 best thesis


Xiaojing Cong has joined the team for working on the ANR-NSF project: "Predicting odorant-dependent and independent olfactory neuron activation based on receptor dynamics"

-----------------------------------------------High level generalist journal-----------

Responsiveness of G protein-coupled odorant receptors is partially attributed to the activation mechanism

(Collaboration with M. Ma, UPenn and H. Matsunami, Duke)

----------------------------------------------- N°1 Chemistry jounal-----------------

Conserved Residues Control Activation of Mammalian G Protein-Coupled Odorant Receptors

(Collaboration with M. Ma, UPenn and H. Matsunami, Duke)

-----------------------------------------------Review article--------------------------

Structure–odour relationships reviewed in the postgenomic era

(Collaboration with G. Sicard, Marseille and C. Moon, DGIST, Korea)

-----------------------------------------------For the record--------------------------

G protein-coupled odorant receptors: From sequence to structure

(Collaboration with WA Goddard III, Caltech)


L'Elephant, la revue.


La mécanique des odeurs

télématin du 24 octobre 2015


Les récepteurs aux odorants

fr3 JT

.JT 19/20 du 15 juillet 2015


Nice Matin du 16-7-2015

nice matin


Molecular Modeling, psychophysiology: from receptor to behavior

My reseach projects are focused on ligand-receptor systems. They are centered on the description of the molecular basis of chemical senses and more particularly the sense of smell. The long-term project is to redefine structure-odor relationships with the take into account of odorant receptors expressed in our neurons. In parrallel, we are interested in the link between the structure of an odorant and the emotion.


  • Ongoing funded projects :
  1. The Emoton project is funded by the Interdisciplinary Section of CNRS (2016)
  2. The NumeriNose project is funded by the Interdisciplinary Section of CNRS (2016)
  3. The NeurOlf project is funded by the call jointly launched by ANR and NSF (Nov. 2015-2018) in Computational Research in Neuroscience: Predicting odorant-dependent and independent olfactory neuron activation based on receptor dynamics.
  4. Caroline Bushdid is awarded by GIRACT as first year PhD student
  5. Jéremie Topin's post-doc fellowship is funded for 2 years (2016-2018) by the city of NICE for developping a project on rational odorant stimulation to trigger emotional effects, notably for Alzheimer disease patients.
  6. Caroline Bushdid is funded by the Roudnitska fondation for a PhD thesis (2015-2018): Structure-odor relationhips. From receptors to behavior.
  7. Claire de March is awared by the GEN foundation for pursuing her research activity on the sense of smell in Duke (NC, USA) and in DGIST (Korea) in 2016




The sense of smell

Although, much progress has been made towards understanding the molecular basis of olfactory perception, many questions remain unanswered. We mainly use computational approaches to gain informations on the mechanistic event underlying perception of odors. Molecular dynamics simulations are for example preformed to understand the atomic-level properties of Odorant Binding Proteins and Olfactory Receptors.

In the following, you will find general informations on the sense of smell.













Chemical senses at the molecular level

  • From a molecule to an odour (movie, ~8 minutes).


Chemoreception is the aptitude of living organisms to identify chemical compounds in their environment and to evaluate their concentration.Olfaction is initiated by a molecular interaction of chemicals called odorants with olfactory neurons located in the epithelium of the nasal cavity. see our 3D movie, from a molecule to an odour in a separate page.


Glomerules belong to the part of the brain that collects informations brought by Olfactory Neuron activation. The neuron cilia project down out of the olfactory epithelium into an aqueous layer, preventing them from drying out: the olfactory mucus (yellow waves).


On the surface of these neurons, the signal is transmitted when an olfactory receptor is activated by an odorant.

Click on the bottom of the small box at the left (ooo), you'll see how an odorant mixture signal is decomposed by the neurons and their correponding glomerules.

The small circles (the odorants) generally activate a given type of neuron, but the specificity is low, so that a "green" odorant can activate a "blue" neuron. You can see it by clicking on the "green-blue" mixture (oo), or only the pure green odorants(o).

This lack of selectivity endows the system a spectacular discriminatory power, able to perceive many thousands of odors.

coupe sagitale cerveau

  • Olfactory Receptors

On the surface of the olfactory neurons, the activation of Olfactory Receptors, a class of protein belonging to the GPCR family and dedicated to transmit the signals to the brain, originates odour perception. Humans share ~ 1000 types of ORs, of which ~ 350 are considered to be functional. The biological method of chemical recognition is far removed from the simple "lock and key" analogy, since a single OR can be activated by multiple odorants, and a single odorant can activate several ORs.

olfactory receptor animated

  • Odorant Binding Proteins

Prior to their interaction with ORs, odorants are associated with Odorant Binding Proteins (OBPs) present in the olfactory mucus. OBPs belong to a class of carrier proteins present in physiological fluids. They are though to contribute actively to the transport of the odorant from the inhaled air stream through the mucus to the cilia of the olfactory neurons. The role of these OBPs stills need to be explored in details.

Odorant Binding Protein

Teaching >--cliquez ICI--> (only in french)

  • Cours "Chimie Générale" PAES
  • Cours "Les sens chimiques" L1-PC
  • Cours "Chimie atomistique" L1-PC
  • Cours "Chimie structurale. Prédiction de propriétés phisico-chimiques" L1-PC
  • Cours "Drug design" , 3e année Génie Biologique à l'Ecole Polytechnique Universitaire de Nice
  • Cours "Drug design", Master 1 & 2 Pharmacologie
  • Cours et TD "Modelisation Moléculaire", Licence 3 - Chimie



  • 2016

- C. Bushdid, C.A. de March, J. Topin, S. Antonczak, M. Bensafi, J. Golebiowski
Ces molécules qui nous mènent par le bout du nez. Le codage moléculaire de la perception des odeurs, l'Actualité Chimique, Avril 2016

- J. Diharce, J. Golebiowski, S. Fiorucci, S. Antonczak
Fine-tuning of microsolvation and hydrogen bond interaction regulates substrate channelling in the course of flavonoid biosynthesis, PCCP, 2016, 18, 10337-10345

  • 2015

- C.A. de March, Y. Yu, M. Ni, K. Adipietro, H. Matsunami, M. Ma, J. Golebiowski
Conserved Residues Control Activation of Mammalian G Protein-Coupled Odorant Receptors. Jounal of the American Chemical Society, 2015, 137 (26), 8611–8616

- Y. Yu, C.A. de March, M. Ni, K. Adipietro, J. Golebiowski, H. Matsunami, M. Ma
Responsiveness of G protein-coupled odorant receptors is partially attributed to the activation mechanism. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci, USA, 112 ( 48), 14966–14971

- C.A. de March, SK. Kim, S. Antonczak, W.A. Goddard III, J. Golebiowski
G Protein-Coupled Odorant receptors: from sequence to structure. Protein Science, 2015, 24 (9), 1543-1548

- C.A. de March, SE Ryu, G. Sicard, C. Moon, J. Golebiowski
Structure Odor Relationships reviewed at the postgenomic era. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 2015,30 (5), 342-360

  • 2014

- C.A. de March and J. Golebiowski
A computational microscope focused on the sense of smell. Biochimie, 2014, 107A,3-10

- J. Topin, C.A. de March, L. Charlier, C. Ronin, S. Antonczak, J. Golebiowski
Discrimination between Olfactory Receptors agonists and non-agonists. Chemistry, a European Journal, 2014 ,20, 10227-10230

- C. Delasalle, C.A.de March, U. Meierhenrich, H. Brevard, J. Golebiowski, N. Baldovini
Structure-odor Relationships of β-Santalol analogues Chem. Biodiv, 2014, 11, 1843-1860

- Topin, J., Diharce, J. Fiorucci, S., Antonczak, S. Golebiowski, J. O2 migration rates in [NiFe] hydrogenases. A joint approach combining free-energy calculations and kinetic modeling. J. Phys Chem. B., 2014, 118 (3), 676–681

- Le Breton, N., Martinho M., Kuanysh K., Topin, J., Mileo, E., Blocquel, D., Habchi, J., Longhi, S., Rockenbauer, A., Golebiowski, J., Guigfliarelli, B., Marque, S., Belle, V. Diversification of EPR signatures in site directed spin labeling using a beta-phosphorylated nitroxide. PhysChemChemPhys, 2014, 16, 4202-4209 

  • 2013

- JM. Heydel, AM. Le Bon, P. Faure, F. Neiers, Y. Artur, J. Golebiowski, L. Briand Odorant-binding proteins and xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes: implications in olfactory peri-receptor events. Anatomical Record, 2013

- J. Golebiowski, L. Charlier, J. Topin, S. Fiorucci, S. Antonczak Molecular features underlying the chemoreception of Odorant binding Proteins and Olfactory Receptors. Insights from molecular modeling and biophysical data. Chapter 96, in Flavour Sciences, 2013, 519-524

- Charlier L, Topin J, de March CA, Lai PC, Crasto CJ, Golebiowski J. Molecular modelling of odorant/olfactory receptor complexes Methods Mol Biol. 2013;1003:53-65

  • 2012

- L. Charlier, J. Topin, C. Ronin, SK. Kim, WA. Goddard III, R. Efremov, J. Golebiowski How broadly tuned olfactory receptors equally recognize their agonists. Human OR1G1 as a test case. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 2012, 69, 4205-4213

- J. Golebiowski,* J. Topin, L. Charlier, L. Briand Interaction between odorants and proteins involved in the perception of smell. The case of Odorant-Binding Proteins probed by molecular modeling and biophysical data. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 2012, 27, 445-453
- J. Golebiowski, X. Fernandez Chimie des substances odorantes et physiologie de l’olfaction. 15 pages in «Les Huiles Essentielles. Tradition et Innovation». 2012
- J. Topin, M. Rousset, S. Antonczak, J. Golebiowski* Kinetics and thermodynamics of gas diffusion in a NiFe hydrogenase. Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics, 2012, 80, 677–682
- M.Maïbèche, JM. Heydel, AM. Le Bon, J. Golebiowski, L. Briand Chap. 3.2. Périrécéption et protéines porteuses (Perireception and Odorant Binding Proteins) 9 pages in “ODORAT et GOUT : de la neurobiologie des sens chimiques aux applications agronomiques, industrielles et médicales” (380 pages), QUAE Ed. 2012

  • 2011

- J. Golebiowski, S. Fiorucci, M. Adrian-Scotto, J. Fernandez-Carmona, S. Antonczak Molecular features underlying the perception of astringency as probed by molecular modeling. Molecular informatics, 2011, 30, 410-414

  • 2010

- S. Fiorucci, S. Antonczak, J. Golebiowski. Prediction/calculation of protein-protein binding affinities and mutation effects, Chapter 11, inProtein-proteincomplexes:Analysis, modelling and drug design. M. Zacharias Ed. imperial Press 2010.
- C. Roucairol, S. Azoulay, M.C. Nevers, J. Golebiowski, C. Créminon, J. Grassi, A. Burger, D. Duval. Design, synthesis and studies of triphosphate analogues for the production of anti AZT-TP antibodies. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 2010, 20,987-990

  • 2009

- L. Charlier, D. Cabrol-Bass, J. Golebiowski . How does human odorant binding protein bind odorants ? The case of aldehydes studied by molecular dynamics. C.R Chimie, 2009, 12, 905-910
- S. Antonczak, S. Fiorucci, J. Golebiowski, D. Cabrol-Bass. Theoretical investigations of the role played by Quercetinase Enzymes upon flavonoids oxygenolsysis mechanism. PhysChemChemPhys,2009, 11, 1491-1501

  • 2008

- L. Charlier, S. Antonczak, E. Jacquin-joly, D. Cabrol-Bass, J. Golebiowski. Deciphering the selectivity of Bombyx mori pheromone binding protein for bombykol over bombykal. A theoretical approach. ChemPhysChem 2008,9, 2785-2793
- S. Fiorucci ; J. Golebiowski; D. Cabrol-Bass; S. Antonczak . Molecular Simulations enlighten the binding mode between quercetine and lipoxygenase-3. PROTEINS : Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics, 2008,73, 290-298

  • 2007

- L. Charlier; C. Nespoulous, S. Fiorucci, S. Antonczak; J. Golebiowski Binding free energy prediction in strongly hydrophobic systems. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2007,9,5761-5771 .
- S. Fiorucci ; J. Golebiowski; D. Cabrol-Bass; S. Antonczak . Molecular Simulations bring new insights into Flavonoid/Quercetinase Interaction Modes. PROTEINS: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics, 2007, 67, 961-970
- J. Golebiowski, S. Antonczak, S. Fiorucci, D. Cabrol-Bass Molecular mechanism underlying Odorant Binding Protein chemoreception. PROTEINS: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics, 2007, 67, 448-458
- S. Fiorucci ; J. Golebiowski; D. Cabrol-Bass; S. Antonczak. DFT Study of Quercetin Activated Forms Involved in Antiradical, Antioxidant, and Prooxidant Biological Processes. Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, 2007, 55, 903-911
- F. Berrue, O. P. Thomas, R. Laville, S. Prado, J. Golebiowski, R. Fernandez and P. Amade The marine sponge Plakortis zyggompha: a source of original bioactive polyketides. Tetrahedron, 2007, 63, 2328-2334

  • 2006

- S. Antoniotti, J. Golebiowski, D. Cabrol-Bass, E. Dunach Density functional theory investigations on acid-catalysed epoxide oxidative ring-opening by DMSO. Competition between oxidation processes. Journal of Molecular Structure THEOCHEM, 763, 2006 155-159
- S. Fiorucci, J. Golebiowski, D. Cabrol-Bass, S. Antonczak Molecular Simulations reveal a new entry site in Quercetin 2,3-Dioxygenase. A pathway for dioxygen? PROTEINS: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics, 64, 2006, 845-850
- J. Golebiowski, S. Antonczak, D. Cabrol-Bass Molecular dynamics studies of odorant binding protein free of ligand and complexed to pyrazine and octenol. Journal of Molecular Structure THEOCHEM, 763, 2006, 165-174

  • 2005

- U.J. Meierhenrich, J. Golebiowski, X. Fernandez, D. Cabrol-Bass De la molécule à l'odeur. (From a molecule to an odour) L'Actualité Chimique, septembre 2005, 29-40

  • 2004

- U.J. Meierhenrich, J. Golebiowski, X. Fernandez, D. Cabrol-Bass The molecular basis of olfactory chemoreception. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 43, 2004, 6410-6412; Angew. Chem. 116, 2004, 6570-6573
- J. Golebiowski, S. Antonczak, J. Fernandez-Carmona, R. Condom, D. Cabrol-Bass Closing loop base pairs in RNA loop-loop complexes. Structural behaviour, interaction energy and solvation analysis through molecular dynamics simulations. Journal of Molecular Modeling , 10, 2004, 408-417
- S. Antoniotti, S. Antonczak, J. Golebiowski Acid-Catalysed Oxidative Ring-Opening of Epoxide by DMSO. Theoretical Investigations on the Effect of Acid Catalysts and Substituents.Theoretical Chemistry Account, 112, 2004, 290 - 297
- S. Fiorucci, J. Golebiowski, D. Cabrol-Bass, S. Antonczak Oxygenolysis of Flavonoid compounds. DFT Description of the Mechanism for Quercetin ChemPhysChem 2004, 5,1726-1733
- J. Golebiowski, S. Antonczak, A. di-Giorgio, R. Condom, D. Cabrol-Bass Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Hepatis C Virus IRES IIId Domain : Structural Behaviour, Electrostatic and energetic Analysis. Journal of Molecular Modeling, 10, 2004, 60-68

  • 2002

- Golebiowski, J.; Lamare, V.; Ruiz-Lopez, M. F. Rb/Cs selectivity between Benzo21crown7 and riBenzo21Crown7. An ab initio study. Journal of Computational Chemistry 2002, 23(7), 724-731
- Golebiowski, J.; Lamare, V.; Ruiz-Lopez, M. F. Quantum mechanical calculations on alkali complexes, in Calix2001. Chap. 18. Z. Asfari; V. Böhmer; J.M. Harrowfield; J. Vicens eds. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht. 2002

  • 2001

- Lamare, V.; Golebiowski, J.; Martins-Costa, M.T.C.; Millot, C.; Ruiz-Lopez, M.F. Modélisation d'un calixarène-Couronne-6 et de ses Complexes Alcalins par Méthode Hybride Mécanique Quantique / Mécanique Moléculaire. Rapport Scientifique CEA/DCC 1999 2001,102-109
- Lamare, V.; Haubertin, D.; Golebiowski, J.; Dozol, J. F. Molecular dynamics study of 21C7 crown ether derivatives and their alkali cations complexes. Comparison with 1,3-alt-calix[4]arenes-crown-6. Journal of Chemical Society, Perkin transaction 2 2001,1,121
- Golebiowski, J.; Lamare, V.; Martins-Costa, M. T. C.; Millot, C.; Ruiz-Lopez, M. F. Role of electronic polarization on the liquid phase affinity of calixarene-crown ethers towards alkali cations. A QM/MM molecular dynamics simulation. Chemical Physics 2001,272,47-59

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