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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Taste Transductions in Taste Receptor Cells: Basic Tastes and Moreover

Author(s): Shusuke Iwata, Ryusuke Yoshida and Yuzo Ninomiya

Volume 20, Issue 16, 2014

Page: [2684 - 2692] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/13816128113199990575

Price: $65


In the oral cavity, taste receptor cells dedicate to detecting chemical compounds in foodstuffs and transmitting their signals to gustatory nerve fibers. Heretofore, five taste qualities (sweet, umami, bitter, salty and sour) are generally accepted as basic tastes. Each of these may have a specific role in the detection of nutritious and poisonous substances; sweet for carbohydrate sources of calories, umami for protein and amino acid contents, bitter for harmful compounds, salty for minerals and sour for ripeness of fruits and spoiled foods. Recent studies have revealed molecular mechanisms for reception and transduction of these five basic tastes. Sweet, umami and bitter tastes are mediated by G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and second-messenger signaling cascades. Salty and sour tastes are mediated by channel-type receptors. In addition to five basic tastes, taste receptor cells may have the ability to detect fat taste, which is elicited by fatty acids, and calcium taste, which is elicited by calcium. Taste compounds eliciting either fat taste or calcium taste may be detected by specific GPCRs expressed in taste receptor cells. This review will focus on transduction mechanisms and cellular characteristics responsible for each of basic tastes, fat taste and calcium taste.

Keywords: Taste receptor, transduction, cell type, taste quality, fat taste and calcium taste.

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