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Cre-Mediated Recombination in Tas2r131 Cells—A Unique Way to Explore Bitter Taste Receptor Function Inside and Outside of the Taste System

The type 2 taste receptors (Tas2rs) comprise a large family of G protein-coupled receptors that recognize compounds bitter to humans and aversive to vertebrates. Tas2rs are expressed in both gustatory and nongustatory tissues, however, identification and functional analyses of T2R-expressing cells have been difficult in most tissues. To overcome these limitations and to be able to manipulate Tas2r-expressing cells in vivo, we used gene-targeting to generate a Tas2r131-specific Cre knock-in mouse strain. We then employed a binary genetic approach to characterize Cre-mediated recombination in these animals and to investigate Tas2r131 expression during postnatal development. We demonstrate that a Cre-activated fluorescent reporter reliably visualizes Tas2r131-cells in gustatory tissue. We show that the onset of Tas2r131 as well as of α-Gustducin expression is initiated at different developmental stages depending on the type of taste bud. Furthermore, the number of Tas2r131- and α-Gustducin-expressing cells increased during postnatal development. Our results demonstrate that the Tas2r131-expressing cells constitute a subpopulation of α-Gustducin positive cells at all stages. We detected Tas2r131-expressing cells in several nongustatory tissues including lung, trachea, ovary, ganglia, and brain. Thus, the Tas2r131-Cre strain will help to dissect the functional role of Tas2r131 cells in both gustatory and nongustatory tissues in the future.

Authors:   Anja Voigt; Sandra Hübner; Linda Döring; Nathalie Perlach; Irm Hermans-Borgmeyer; Ulrich Boehm; Wolfgang Meyerhof
Journal:   Chemical Senses
Volume:   40
edition:   9
Year:   2015
Pages:   627
DOI:   10.1093/chemse/bjv049
Publication date:   01-Nov-2015
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  • cells
  • Expression
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