Taste receptors cells are responsible for detecting a wide variety of chemical stimuli. Several molecules including both G protein coupled receptors and ion channels have been shown to be involved in the detection and transduction of tastants. We report on the expression of two members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) family of ion channels, PKD1L3 and PKD2L1, in taste receptor cells. Both of these channels belong to the larger polycystic kidney disease (PKD or TRPP) subfamily of TRP channels, members of which have been demonstrated to be non-selective cation channels and permeable to both Na(+) and Ca(2+). Pkd1l3 and Pkd2l1 are co-expressed in a select subset of taste receptor cells and therefore may, like other PKD channels, function as a heteromer. We found the taste receptor cells expressing Pkd1l3 and Pkd2l1 to be distinct from those that express components of sweet, bitter and umami signal transduction pathways. These results provide the first evidence for a role of TRPP channels in taste receptor cell function.