Author(s): Chandrashekar J, Mueller KL, Hoon MA, Adler E, Feng L, , Chandrashekar J, Mueller KL, Hoon MA, Adler E, Feng L,
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Abstract Bitter taste perception provides animals with critical protection against ingestion of poisonous compounds. In the accompanying paper, we report the characterization of a large family of putative mammalian taste receptors (T2Rs). Here we use a heterologous expression system to show that specific T2Rs function as bitter taste receptors. A mouse T2R (mT2R-5) responds to the bitter tastant cycloheximide, and a human and a mouse receptor (hT2R-4 and mT2R-8) responded to denatonium and 6-n-propyl-2-thiouracil. Mice strains deficient in their ability to detect cycloheximide have amino acid substitutions in the mT2R-5 gene; these changes render the receptor significantly less responsive to cycloheximide. We also expressed mT2R-5 in insect cells and demonstrate specific tastant-dependent activation of gustducin, a G protein implicated in bitter signaling. Since a single taste receptor cell expresses a large repertoire of T2Rs, these findings provide a plausible explanation for the uniform bitter taste that is evoked by many structurally unrelated toxic compounds.
This article was published in Cell
and referenced in Drug Designing: Open Access