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A candidate taste receptor gene near a sweet taste locus

Nature Neurosciencevolume 4pages492498 (2001) | Download Citation



The mechanisms underlying sweet taste in mammals have been elusive. Although numerous studies have implicated G proteins in sweet taste detection, the expected G protein-coupled receptors have not been found. Here we describe a candidate taste receptor gene, T1r3, that is located at or near the mouse Sac locus, a genetic locus that controls the detection of certain sweet tastants. T1R3 differs in amino acid sequence in mouse strains with different Sac phenotypes ('tasters' versus 'nontasters'). In addition, a perfect correlation exists between two different T1r3 alleles and Sac phenotypes in recombinant inbred mouse strains. The T1r3 gene is expressed in a subset of taste cells in circumvallate, foliate and fungiform taste papillae. In circumvallate and foliate papillae, most T1r3-expressing cells also express a gene encoding a related receptor, T1R2, raising the possibility that these cells recognize more than one ligand, or that the two receptors function as heterodimers.

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We thank L. Rowe at The Jackson Laboratory for suggestions and contributions to the chromosome mapping studies. We also thank C. Gao for technical assistance, and members of the Buck lab, in particular, C. Neophytou, for help, comments and discussions throughout this project. This work was supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, grants from the National Institutes of Health (L.B.B.), and fellowship support from the Alice and Joseph Brook Fund (J.-P.M.), the Naito Foundation (H.M.), and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (H.M.). GenBank accession number for mT1R1, mT1R2 and mT1R3 are AF337039-41

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  1. Department of Neurobiology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, 02115, Massachusetts, USA

    • Jean-Pierre Montmayeur
    • , Stephen D. Liberles
    • , Hiroaki Matsunami
    •  & Linda B. Buck


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Correspondence to Linda B. Buck.

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