The molecular physiology of taste transduction

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2000 Aug;10(4):519-27. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(00)00118-5.


Taste receptor cells use a variety of mechanisms to transduce chemical information into cellular signals. Seven-transmembrane-helix receptors initiate signaling cascades by coupling to G proteins, effector enzymes, second messengers and ion channels. Apical ion channels pass ions, leading to depolarizing and/or hyperpolarizing responses. New insights into the mechanisms of taste sensation have been gained from molecular cloning of the transduction elements, biochemical elucidation of the transduction pathways, and electrophysiological analysis of the function of taste cell ion channels.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / physiology
  • Animals
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Taste / physiology*
  • Taste Buds / physiology*
  • Transducin / physiology*


  • Amino Acids
  • Ion Channels
  • gustducin
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Transducin