|Project Theme||Structural and functional analysis of taste receptors applicable to development of new taste substances and taste evaluation systems|
|Project Theme (short)||Taste receptors|
|Principal Investigator||Atsuko Yamashita|
|Affiliation||Structural Physiology Research Group, Harima Institute, RIKEN|
|Backgrounds||- Taste buds in taste cells contain taste receptors that sense the taste
- Structural and functional analyses of taste receptors are vital for the rational evaluation and developments of tastants
|Highlights||- We have obtained micro-crystals of the heterodimer T1R2/T1R3
- We have revealed that several sweet-inhibitors interact with the transmembrane regions of taste receptors
|Outline|| The sensation of taste is classified into five basic tastes: sweetness, saltiness, sourness, bitterness and umami. Sweetness caused by saccharides such as sugar and umami brought by amino acids such as glutamic acid are regarded as signals by which food includes energy and protein sources. Taste buds in taste cells contain taste receptors that sense the taste. Taste receptors are comprised of three T1R family proteins (T1R1, T1R2 and T1R3) in the surface membranes of taste cells and function in the form of complex consisting of two T1R proteins out of three family members. For example, the combination of T1R1 with T1R3 senses umami, while T1R2 and T1R3 correspond to sweetness.
In this project we would like to challenge the structural analyses of taste receptors embedded in the surface membranes to reveal the detailed molecular mechanism by which taste receptors recognize tastants.