Skn-1a (Pou2f3) specifies taste receptor cell lineage

Nat Neurosci. 2011 Jun;14(6):685-7. doi: 10.1038/nn.2820. Epub 2011 May 15.


Functional diversification of taste cells is crucial for proper discrimination of taste qualities. We found the homeodomain protein Skn-1a (Pou2f3) to be expressed in sweet, umami and bitter taste cells. Skn-1a-deficient mice lacked electrophysiological and behavioral responses to sweet, umami and bitter tastes, as a result of a complete absence of sweet, umami and bitter cells and the concomitant expansion of sour cells. Skn-1a is critical for generating and balancing the diverse composition of taste cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Octamer Transcription Factors / deficiency*
  • Octamer Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Taste / physiology*
  • Taste Buds / metabolism*


  • Octamer Transcription Factors
  • Pou2f3 protein, mouse