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J Gen Physiol. 2017 Feb;149(2):181-197. doi: 10.1085/jgp.201611637. Epub 2017 Jan 4.

Extraoral bitter taste receptors in health and disease.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605.
2
Biomedical Imaging Group, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605.
3
Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605.
4
Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605 Ronghua.zhuge@umassmed.edu.

Abstract

Bitter taste receptors (TAS2Rs or T2Rs) belong to the superfamily of seven-transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors, which are the targets of >50% of drugs currently on the market. Canonically, T2Rs are located in taste buds of the tongue, where they initiate bitter taste perception. However, accumulating evidence indicates that T2Rs are widely expressed throughout the body and mediate diverse nontasting roles through various specialized mechanisms. It has also become apparent that T2Rs and their polymorphisms are associated with human disorders. In this review, we summarize the physiological and pathophysiological roles that extraoral T2Rs play in processes as diverse as innate immunity and reproduction, and the major challenges in this emerging field.

PMID:
28053191
PMCID:
PMC5299619
DOI:
10.1085/jgp.201611637
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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