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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Nov 21;376(3):504-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.09.035. Epub 2008 Sep 16.

G alpha14 is a candidate mediator of sweet/umami signal transduction in the posterior region of the mouse tongue.

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Research Laboratories for Health & Gustatory Science, Asahi Breweries, Ltd., 1-1-21 Midori, Moriya, Ibaraki 302-0106, Japan.


Gustducin, a G alpha subunit expressed in taste cells, is known as a key molecule for sweet, umami and bitter taste signal transduction. However, previous studies demonstrated that the contribution of gustducin to the sweet/umami responses in the posterior region of the tongue is less than that in the anterior region, implying the existence of another G alpha subunit mediating sweet/umami taste signal transduction. Here, we propose G alpha14, a member of G alpha q family, as the candidate mediator. G alpha14 was found in our subtracted full-length cDNA library derived from mouse circumvallate papillae (CV) and expressed in a subset of taste cells in CV and foliate papillae, but not in fungiform papillae and soft palate. G alpha14 was co-expressed with T1r3, a sweet/umami taste receptor, but not with gustducin in CV. These results suggest the important roles of G alpha14 in sweet/umami taste signal transduction in the posterior region of the tongue.

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