Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 63, Issue 13, pp 1501–1509 | Cite as

Signaling in the Chemosensory Systems

Bitter taste receptors and human bitter taste perception
  • M. Behrens
  • W. Meyerhof
Multi-author Review


A vast number of structurally diverse bitter compounds need to be detected by a subfamily of only ∼ 25 human bitter receptors. Failure in detecting them might be lethal, since some naturally occurring bitter compounds, such as strychnine, are very toxic. This review presents an overview about the enormous progress in the field of mammalian bitter taste research with special emphasis on humans, if data were available. It summarizes the current knowledge about the anatomical basis for bitter taste perception, intracellular signal transduction, evolution, expression and polymorphisms of hTAS2R genes, and the molecular basis for the recognition of bitter compounds.


Bitter taste receptor gustatory system G-protein-coupled receptor single-nucleotide polymorphisms tongue sensory physiology 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. Molecular GeneticsGerman Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-RehbrueckeNuthetalGermany

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