Expression of T1Rs and Gustducin in Palatal Taste Buds of Mice

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The palatal region of the oral cavity in rodents houses 100–300 taste buds and is particularly sensitive to sweet and umami compounds; yet, few studies have examined the expression patterns of transduction-related molecules in this taste field. We investigated the interrelationships between members of the T1R family and between each T1R and gustducin in palatal taste buds. Similar to lingual taste buds, T1R1 and T1R2 are generally expressed in separate palatal taste cells. In contrast to lingual taste buds, however, T1R2 and T1R3-positive palatal taste cells almost always coexpress gustducin, suggesting that sweet taste transduction in the palate is almost entirely dependent on gustducin. T1R1-positive palate taste cells coexpress gustducin about half the time, suggesting that other G proteins may contribute to the transduction of umami stimuli in this taste field.

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