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Comparative Study
. 2005 Dec;122(12):1310-21.
doi: 10.1016/j.mod.2005.07.005. Epub 2005 Aug 30.

Two Families of Candidate Taste Receptors in Fishes

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Comparative Study

Two Families of Candidate Taste Receptors in Fishes

Yoshiro Ishimaru et al. Mech Dev. .
Free article


Vertebrates receive tastants, such as sugars, amino acids, and nucleotides, via taste bud cells in epithelial tissues. In mammals, two families of G protein-coupled receptors for tastants are expressed in taste bud cells-T1Rs for sweet tastants and umami tastants (l-amino acids) and T2Rs for bitter tastants. Here, we report two families of candidate taste receptors in fish species, fish T1Rs and T2Rs, which show significant identity to mammalian T1Rs and T2Rs, respectively. Fish T1Rs consist of three types: fish T1R1 and T1R3 that show the highest degrees of identity to mammalian T1R1 and T1R3, respectively, and fish T1R2 that shows almost equivalent identity to both mammalian T1R1 and T1R2. Unlike mammalian T1R2, fish T1R2 consists of two or three members in each species. We also identified two fish T2Rs that show low degrees of identity to mammalian T2Rs. In situ hybridization experiments revealed that fish T1R and T2R genes were expressed specifically in taste bud cells, but not in olfactory receptor cells. Fish T1R1 and T1R2 genes were expressed in different subsets of taste bud cells, and fish T1R3 gene was co-expressed with either fish T1R1 or T1R2 gene as in the case of mammals. There were also a significant number of cells expressing fish T1R2 genes only. Fish T2R genes were expressed in different cells from those expressing fish T1R genes. These results suggest that vertebrates commonly have two kinds of taste signaling pathways that are defined by the types of taste receptors expressed in taste receptor cells.

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