Gene expression profiling of α-gustducin-expressing taste cells in mouse fungiform and circumvallate papillae

Yu Yamada, Shingo Takai, Yu Watanabe, Ayana Osaki, Yuko Kawabata, Asami Oike, Ayaka Hirayama, Shusuke Iwata, Keisuke Sanematsu, Shoji Tabata, Noriatsu Shigemura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Taste buds are complex sensory organs embedded in the epithelium of fungiform papillae (FP) and circumvallate papillae (CV). The sweet, bitter, and umami tastes are sensed by type II taste cells that express taste receptors (Tas1rs and Tas2rs) coupled with the taste G-protein α-gustducin. Recent studies revealed that the taste response profiles of α-gustducin-expressing cells are different between FP and CV, but which genes could generate such distinctive cell characteristics are still largely unknown. We performed a comprehensive transcriptome analysis on α-gustducin-expressing cells in mouse FP and CV by single-cell RNA sequencing combined with fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Transcriptome profiles of the α-gustducin-expressing cells showed various expression patterns of taste receptors. Our clustering analysis defined the specific cell populations derived from FP or CV based on their distinct gene expression. Immunohistochemistry confirmed the specific expression of galectin-3, encoded by Lgals3, which was recognized as a differentially expressed gene in the transcriptome analysis. Our work provides fundamental knowledge toward understanding the genetic heterogeneity of type II cells, potentially revealing differential characterization of FP and CV taste bud cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-212
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Publication statusPublished - Jun 11 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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