Candidate taste receptors in Drosophila

Science. 2000 Mar 10;287(5459):1830-4. doi: 10.1126/science.287.5459.1830.


Little is known about the molecular mechanisms of taste perception in animals, particularly the initial events of taste signaling. A large and diverse family of seven transmembrane domain proteins was identified from the Drosophila genome database with a computer algorithm that identifies proteins on the basis of structure. Eighteen of 19 genes examined were expressed in the Drosophila labellum, a gustatory organ of the proboscis. Expression was not detected in a variety of other tissues. The genes were not expressed in the labellum of a Drosophila mutant, pox-neuro70, in which taste neurons are eliminated. Tissue specificity of expression of these genes, along with their structural similarity, supports the possibility that the family encodes a large and divergent family of taste receptors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Alternative Splicing
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / metabolism*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / chemistry
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Exons
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Insect
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Insect Proteins / chemistry
  • Insect Proteins / genetics*
  • Insect Proteins / physiology
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / chemistry
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sense Organs / chemistry
  • Sense Organs / physiology
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Taste / physiology


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • gustatory receptor, Drosophila