Sensory Perception

Matters of Taste

Science's STKE  12 Aug 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 195, pp. tw321-TW321
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.195.tw321

Mammalian receptors of the T1r family have been implicated in taste detection. The heterodimers T1r2-T1r3 and T1r1-T1r3 are thought to sense sweet and umami (glutamate), respectively. However, analysis of mice lacking T1r3 by Damak et al. indicates that the molecular mechanisms underlying taste responsiveness are more complicated. T1r3-null mice could still detect sugars and glutamate, but the mice no longer responded to artificial sweeteners. This observation points to the existence of other receptors in taste cells that are required to sample sweet and umami compounds.

S. Damak, M. Rong, K. Yasumatsu, Z. Kokrashvili, V. Varadarajan, S. Zou, P. Jiang, Y. Ninomiya, R. F. Margolskee, Detection of sweet and umami taste in the absence of taste receptor T1r3. Science 301, 850-853 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]