Co-expression of calcium signaling components in vertebrate taste bud cells

Neurosci Lett. 2000 Mar 31;283(1):61-4. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(00)00911-3.


In order to investigate the molecular mechanism of calcium signaling pathways common to the vertebrate gustatory systems, we have analyzed the expression of their molecular components. We first identified a phospholipase C (PLC) beta subtype expressed in the taste buds of pond loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus), designated DPLCbeta2, which is closely related to mammalian PLCbeta2 shown recently to be expressed in rat taste buds. The taste bud-specific expression of PLCbeta2 in a fish species as well as rat strongly suggests that PLCbeta2 mediates the tastant-induced second messenger response in taste buds, which is common to vertebrates. Next, we examined the correlation of gene expression of the candidate components leading to PLCbeta2 activation in rat circumvallate papillae, including G proteins, G(i2) and gustducin, and a G protein-coupled receptor, TR2. As a result, it was shown that the mRNAs for PLCbeta2 and G(i2) co-exist in the same cells, and PLCbeta2- and G(i2)-positive cells include both gustducin-positive cells and TR2-positive cells. However, no correlation was found between the expressions of TR2 and gustducin as reported previously. Our results thus indicate that a taste transduction pathway comprising TR2, G(i2) and PLCbeta2 occurs in a subset of taste cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology*
  • Fishes / anatomy & histology*
  • Fishes / physiology*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 2, Group C, Member 1
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone / metabolism
  • Taste Buds / metabolism*
  • Transducin / metabolism
  • Type C Phospholipases / metabolism*


  • Nr2c1 protein, rat
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 2, Group C, Member 1
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone
  • gustducin
  • Type C Phospholipases
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Transducin