α Gustducin: A Taste Cell Specific G Protein Subunit Closely Related to the α Transducins

  • Susan K. McLaughlin
  • Peter J. McKinnon
  • Robert F. Margolskee


The guanine nucleotide binding proteins (G proteins) mediate signal transduction in olfactory, visual, hormonal and neurotransmitter systems (see Birnbaumer, 1990). The G proteins comprise a gene family of proteins which transduce an extracellular signal into an intracellular second messenger (e.g. cAMP, cGMP, IP3). Many different cell surface receptors couple to and interact with specific subtypes of G proteins. All G proteins are heterotrimers (αßγ) wherein the α subunit binds guanine nucleotides and contains most, if not all, of the specificity for both receptor and effector interactions.


Taste Cell RNase Protection Assay Guanine Nucleotide Binding Protein cAMP Phosphodiesterase Fungiform Papilla 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Akabas, M.H., Dodd, J., and Al-Awqati, Q., 1988, A bitter substance induces a rise in intracellular calcium in a subpopulation of rat taste cells, Science, 242: 2047.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Avenet, P. and Lindemann, B., 1989, Perspectives of taste reception, J. Membr. Biol. 112: 1.Google Scholar
  3. Avenet, P., Hofmann, F., and Lindemann, B., 1988, Transduction in taste receptor cells requires cAMP-dependent protein kinase, Nature, 331: 352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Birnbaumer, L., 1990, G proteins in signal transduction, Ann. Rev. Pharmacol. Toxicol., 30: 675.Google Scholar
  5. Kinnamon, S.C., 1988, Taste transduction: a diversity of mechanisms, Trends in Neurosci., 11: 491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kurihara, K. and Koyama, N., 1972, High activity of adenyl cyclase in olfactory and gustatory organs, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm., 48: 30.Google Scholar
  7. Law, J.S. and Henkin, R.I., 1982, Taste bud adenosine-3’,5’-monophosphate phosphodiesterase: activity, subcellular distribution and kinetic parameters, Res. Comm. in Chem. Pathology and Pharm., 38: 439.Google Scholar
  8. Lerea, C.L., Somers, D.E., Hurley, J.B., Klock, I.B., and Bunt-Milam, A.H., 1986, Identification of specific transducin a subunits in retinal rod and cone photoreceptors, Science, 243: 77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lochrie, M.A., Hurley, J.B., and Simon, M.I., 1985, Sequence of the a subunit of photoreceptor G protein: homologies between transducin, ras and elongation factors, Science, 228: 96.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Medynski, D.C., Sullivan, K., Smith, D., VanDop, C., Chang, F.-H., Fung, B.K.-K., Seeburg, P.H., and Bourne, H.R., 1985, Amino acid sequence of the a subunit of transducin deduced from the cDNA sequence, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 82: 4311.Google Scholar
  11. Roper, S.D., 1989, The cell biology of vertebrate taste receptors, Ann. Rev. Neurosci., 12: 329.Google Scholar
  12. Spielman, A.I., Brand, J.G., and Wysocki, L., 1989, A rapid method of collecting taste tissue from rats and mice Chem. Senses. 14: 841.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Strathmann, M., Wilkie, T.M., and Simon, M.I., 1989, Diversity of the Gprotein family: sequences from five additional a subunits in the mouse, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 86: 7407.Google Scholar
  14. Striem, B.J., Pace, U., Zehavi, U., Naim, M., and Lancet, D., 1989, Sweet tastants stimulate adenylate cyclase coupled to GTP-binding protein in rat tongue membranes, Biochem. J., 260: 121.Google Scholar
  15. Tanabe, T., Nakada, T., Nishikawa, Y., Sugimoto, K., Suzuki, H., Takahashi, H., Noda, M., Haga, T., Ichiyamo, A., Kangawa, K., Minamino, N., Matsuo, H., and Numa, S., 1985, Primary structure of the a-subunit of transducin and its relationship to ras proteins, Nature315: 242.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Tonosaki, K. and Funakoski, M., 1988, Cyclic nucleotides may mediate taste transduction, Nature, 331: 354.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Yatsunami, K., and Khorana, H.G., 1985, GTPase of bovine rod outer segments: the amino acid sequence of the a subunit as derived from the cDNA sequence, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 82: 4316.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan K. McLaughlin
    • 1
  • Peter J. McKinnon
    • 1
  • Robert F. Margolskee
    • 1
  1. 1.Roche Research CenterRoche Institute of Molecular BiologyNutleyUSA

Personalised recommendations