Gustatory sensory cells express a receptor responsive to protein breakdown products (GPR92)

Désirée Haid, Patricia Widmayer, Anja Voigt, Nirupa Chaudhari, Ulrich Boehm, Heinz Breer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The ingestion of dietary protein is of vital importance for the maintenance of fundamental physiological processes. The taste modality umami, with its prototype stimulus, glutamate, is considered to signal the protein content of food. Umami was thought to be mediated by the heterodimeric amino acid receptor, T1R1 + T1R3. Based on knockout studies, additional umami receptors are likely to exist. In addition to amino acids, certain peptides can also elicit and enhance umami taste suggesting that protein breakdown products may contribute to umami taste. The recently deorphanized peptone receptor, GPR92 (also named GPR93; LPAR5), is expressed in gastric enteroendocrine cells where it responds to protein hydrolysates. Therefore, it was of immediate interest to investigate if the receptor GPR92 is expressed in gustatory sensory cells. Using immunohistochemical approaches we found that a large population of cells in murine taste buds was labeled with an GPR92 antibody. A molecular phenotyping of GPR92 cells revealed that the vast majority of GPR92-immunoreactive cells express PLCβ2 and can therefore be classified as type II cells. More detailed analyses have shown that GPR92 is expressed in the majority of T1R1-positive taste cells. These results indicate that umami cells may respond not only to amino acids but also to peptides in protein hydrolysates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalHistochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • GPR92
  • GPR93
  • Gustatory sensory cells
  • LPAR5
  • Protein breakdown products
  • Receptors
  • T1R1
  • Taste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Histology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Medicine(all)


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