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Nature. 2001 Sep 13;413(6852):219-25.

Receptors and transduction in taste.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Universit├Ąt des Saarlandes, Homburg, Germany.


Taste is the sensory system devoted primarily to a quality check of food to be ingested. Although aided by smell and visual inspection, the final recognition and selection relies on chemoreceptive events in the mouth. Emotional states of acute pleasure or displeasure guide the selection and contribute much to our quality of life. Membrane proteins that serve as receptors for the transduction of taste have for a long time remained elusive. But screening the mass of genome sequence data that have recently become available has provided a new means to identify key receptors for bitter and sweet taste. Molecular biology has also identified receptors for salty, sour and umami taste.

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