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Hua Xi Kou Qiang Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2017 Oct 1;35(5):549-554. doi: 10.7518/hxkq.2017.05.020.

[Taste signal transduction and the role of taste receptors in the regulation of microbial infection].

[Article in Chinese; Abstract available in Chinese from the publisher]

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State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases, Dept. of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China.


in English, Chinese

Taste receptors guide individuals to consume nutrients while avoiding potentially noxious substances. Interestingly, recent studies have shown that taste receptors are also expressed beyond the taste buds, including brain, respiratory system, and digestive system, etc. These extragustatory taste receptors play important roles in microbial infection, nutrient uptake and host homeostasis. Mang extragustatory taste receptors have been proposed to sense microorganisms and regulate host innate defense. More importantly, polymorphisms of genes encoding taste receptor, particularly bitter taste receptor, are linked to different innate defensive responses. This review introduces the molecular basis of taste signal transduction, and the role of taste receptors in the regulation of innate immunity during microbial infection were further discussed in detail.


chemosensory cells; innate immunity; microorganisms; taste receptor

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