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A taste for umami


Chaudhari and colleagues identify the taste receptor for l-glutamate, also known as umami, found in protein-rich foods. The protein they describe is a new G-protein-coupled receptor that corresponds to a truncated form of the metabotropic glutamate receptor mGluR4.

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Figure 1
Figure 2: The mGluR4 protein is a seven-transmembrane receptor, and the N terminus of the brain isoform (center) forms a ‘clamshell’ structure, homologous to bacterial amino-acid-binding proteins (left), which contains the high-affinity binding site for glutamate.


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Lindemann, B. A taste for umami. Nat Neurosci 3, 99–100 (2000).

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