The taste of monosodium glutamate: Membrane receptors in taste buds

Nirupa Chaudhari, Hui Yang, Cynthia Lamp, Eugene Delay, Claire Cartford, Trang Than, Stephen D Roper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

209 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Receptor proteins for photoreception have been studied for several decades. More recently, putative receptors for olfaction have been isolated and characterized. In contrast, no receptors for taste have been identified yet by molecular cloning. This report describes experiments aimed at identifying a receptor responsible for the taste of monosodium glutamate (MSG). Using reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR, we found that several ionotropic glutamate receptors are present in rat lingual tissues. However, these receptors also could be detected in lingual tissue devoid of taste buds. On the other hand, RT-PCR and RNase protection assays indicated that a G- protein-coupled metabotropic glutamate receptor, mGluR4, also is expressed in lingual tissues and is limited only to taste buds. In situ hybridization demonstrated that mGluR4 is detectable in 40-70% of vallate and foliate taste buds but not in surrounding nonsensory epithelium, confirming the localization of this metabotropic receptor to gustatory cells. Expression of mGluR4 in taste buds is higher in preweaning rats compared with adult rats. This may correspond to the known higher sensitivity to the taste of MSG in juvenile rodents. Finally, behavioral studies have indicated that MSG and L- 2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate (L-AP4), a ligand for mGluR4, elicit similar tastes in rats. We conclude that mGluR4 may be a chemosensory receptor responsible, in part, for the taste of MSG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3817-3826
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume16
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 20 1996

Fingerprint

Taste Buds
Sodium Glutamate
Glutamate Receptors
Membranes
Tongue
Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors
Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors
Smell
Molecular Cloning
Ribonucleases
GTP-Binding Proteins
In Situ Hybridization
Rodentia
Epithelium
metabotropic glutamate receptor 4
Ligands

Keywords

  • chemosensory
  • glutamate receptors
  • gustation
  • rats
  • taste buds
  • umami

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Chaudhari, N., Yang, H., Lamp, C., Delay, E., Cartford, C., Than, T., & Roper, S. D. (1996). The taste of monosodium glutamate: Membrane receptors in taste buds. Journal of Neuroscience, 16(12), 3817-3826.

The taste of monosodium glutamate : Membrane receptors in taste buds. / Chaudhari, Nirupa; Yang, Hui; Lamp, Cynthia; Delay, Eugene; Cartford, Claire; Than, Trang; Roper, Stephen D.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 16, No. 12, 20.06.1996, p. 3817-3826.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chaudhari, N, Yang, H, Lamp, C, Delay, E, Cartford, C, Than, T & Roper, SD 1996, 'The taste of monosodium glutamate: Membrane receptors in taste buds', Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 16, no. 12, pp. 3817-3826.
Chaudhari N, Yang H, Lamp C, Delay E, Cartford C, Than T et al. The taste of monosodium glutamate: Membrane receptors in taste buds. Journal of Neuroscience. 1996 Jun 20;16(12):3817-3826.
Chaudhari, Nirupa ; Yang, Hui ; Lamp, Cynthia ; Delay, Eugene ; Cartford, Claire ; Than, Trang ; Roper, Stephen D. / The taste of monosodium glutamate : Membrane receptors in taste buds. In: Journal of Neuroscience. 1996 ; Vol. 16, No. 12. pp. 3817-3826.
@article{bb86c21302e049cf98d974ea4fe6ca5b,
title = "The taste of monosodium glutamate: Membrane receptors in taste buds",
abstract = "Receptor proteins for photoreception have been studied for several decades. More recently, putative receptors for olfaction have been isolated and characterized. In contrast, no receptors for taste have been identified yet by molecular cloning. This report describes experiments aimed at identifying a receptor responsible for the taste of monosodium glutamate (MSG). Using reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR, we found that several ionotropic glutamate receptors are present in rat lingual tissues. However, these receptors also could be detected in lingual tissue devoid of taste buds. On the other hand, RT-PCR and RNase protection assays indicated that a G- protein-coupled metabotropic glutamate receptor, mGluR4, also is expressed in lingual tissues and is limited only to taste buds. In situ hybridization demonstrated that mGluR4 is detectable in 40-70{\%} of vallate and foliate taste buds but not in surrounding nonsensory epithelium, confirming the localization of this metabotropic receptor to gustatory cells. Expression of mGluR4 in taste buds is higher in preweaning rats compared with adult rats. This may correspond to the known higher sensitivity to the taste of MSG in juvenile rodents. Finally, behavioral studies have indicated that MSG and L- 2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate (L-AP4), a ligand for mGluR4, elicit similar tastes in rats. We conclude that mGluR4 may be a chemosensory receptor responsible, in part, for the taste of MSG.",
keywords = "chemosensory, glutamate receptors, gustation, rats, taste buds, umami",
author = "Nirupa Chaudhari and Hui Yang and Cynthia Lamp and Eugene Delay and Claire Cartford and Trang Than and Roper, {Stephen D}",
year = "1996",
month = "6",
day = "20",
language = "English",
volume = "16",
pages = "3817--3826",
journal = "Journal of Neuroscience",
issn = "0270-6474",
publisher = "Society for Neuroscience",
number = "12",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The taste of monosodium glutamate

T2 - Membrane receptors in taste buds

AU - Chaudhari, Nirupa

AU - Yang, Hui

AU - Lamp, Cynthia

AU - Delay, Eugene

AU - Cartford, Claire

AU - Than, Trang

AU - Roper, Stephen D

PY - 1996/6/20

Y1 - 1996/6/20

N2 - Receptor proteins for photoreception have been studied for several decades. More recently, putative receptors for olfaction have been isolated and characterized. In contrast, no receptors for taste have been identified yet by molecular cloning. This report describes experiments aimed at identifying a receptor responsible for the taste of monosodium glutamate (MSG). Using reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR, we found that several ionotropic glutamate receptors are present in rat lingual tissues. However, these receptors also could be detected in lingual tissue devoid of taste buds. On the other hand, RT-PCR and RNase protection assays indicated that a G- protein-coupled metabotropic glutamate receptor, mGluR4, also is expressed in lingual tissues and is limited only to taste buds. In situ hybridization demonstrated that mGluR4 is detectable in 40-70% of vallate and foliate taste buds but not in surrounding nonsensory epithelium, confirming the localization of this metabotropic receptor to gustatory cells. Expression of mGluR4 in taste buds is higher in preweaning rats compared with adult rats. This may correspond to the known higher sensitivity to the taste of MSG in juvenile rodents. Finally, behavioral studies have indicated that MSG and L- 2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate (L-AP4), a ligand for mGluR4, elicit similar tastes in rats. We conclude that mGluR4 may be a chemosensory receptor responsible, in part, for the taste of MSG.

AB - Receptor proteins for photoreception have been studied for several decades. More recently, putative receptors for olfaction have been isolated and characterized. In contrast, no receptors for taste have been identified yet by molecular cloning. This report describes experiments aimed at identifying a receptor responsible for the taste of monosodium glutamate (MSG). Using reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR, we found that several ionotropic glutamate receptors are present in rat lingual tissues. However, these receptors also could be detected in lingual tissue devoid of taste buds. On the other hand, RT-PCR and RNase protection assays indicated that a G- protein-coupled metabotropic glutamate receptor, mGluR4, also is expressed in lingual tissues and is limited only to taste buds. In situ hybridization demonstrated that mGluR4 is detectable in 40-70% of vallate and foliate taste buds but not in surrounding nonsensory epithelium, confirming the localization of this metabotropic receptor to gustatory cells. Expression of mGluR4 in taste buds is higher in preweaning rats compared with adult rats. This may correspond to the known higher sensitivity to the taste of MSG in juvenile rodents. Finally, behavioral studies have indicated that MSG and L- 2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate (L-AP4), a ligand for mGluR4, elicit similar tastes in rats. We conclude that mGluR4 may be a chemosensory receptor responsible, in part, for the taste of MSG.

KW - chemosensory

KW - glutamate receptors

KW - gustation

KW - rats

KW - taste buds

KW - umami

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0030006520&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0030006520&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 8656276

AN - SCOPUS:0030006520

VL - 16

SP - 3817

EP - 3826

JO - Journal of Neuroscience

JF - Journal of Neuroscience

SN - 0270-6474

IS - 12

ER -