A taste for umami

  title={A taste for umami},
  author={Bernd Lindemann},
  journal={Nature Neuroscience},
  • Bernd Lindemann
  • Published 1 February 2000
  • Chemistry, Medicine
  • Nature Neuroscience
Chaudhari and colleagues identify the taste receptor for l-glutamate, also known as umami, found in protein-rich foods. The protein they describe is a new G-protein-coupled receptor that corresponds to a truncated form of the metabotropic glutamate receptor mGluR4. 
Monosodium L-glutamate added to a high-energy, high-protein liquid diet promotes gastric emptying.
Enrichment with MSG facilitated gastric emptying of a protein-rich meal exclusively, which suggests that free glutamate is important for protein digestion and may be helpful in the management of delayed gastric emptied.
A family of candidate taste receptors in human and mouse
The identification of a family of candidate taste receptors (the TRBs) that are members of the G-protein-coupled receptor superfamily and that are specifically expressed by taste receptor cells are reported.
Olfaction and Gustation, Neural Basis of
The senses of taste and smell convey information that is vital for the survival and reproduction of most animals by the pattern of activation of receptor cells with different chemical specificities.
G Protein–Coupled Taste Receptors
Abstract The sense of taste in vertebrates distinguishes the five basic taste qualities—salty, sour, sweet, umami, and bitter—and is devoted to detecting and evaluating the chemical composition of
Taste transduction: appetizing times in gustation
This work has shown that the identification and functional characterization of mammalian taste receptors has greatly increased the understanding of the pathways for the transduction of taste stimuli and this basic information is critical to answer longstanding questions regarding the coding of taste information.
Introduction to the symposium. The roles of glutamate in taste, gastrointestinal function, metabolism, and physiology.
  • J. Fernstrom
  • Biology, Medicine
    The American journal of clinical nutrition
  • 2009
The present symposium and proceedings reflect the explosion of taste studies and data since Ikeda’s seminal work, and reveals the multiple taste receptors for MSG, their underlying transduction mechanisms, their responsiveness to various taste molecules, and the hallmark feature of umami taste, the synergism between MSG and nucleotide monophosphates.
Glutamate Receptors in Taste Receptor Cells
Glutamate plays a double role in the physiology of TRCs. As a free-occurring component of some foodstuff, glutamate is detected by TRCs and conveys information about the presence of protein-rich
Glutamate Perception, Soup Stock, and the Concept of Umami: The Ethnography, Food Ecology, and History of Dashi in Japan
  • Yoshimi Osawa
  • Sociology, Medicine
    Ecology of food and nutrition
  • 2012
The research identifies socioeconomic and political factors that have influenced on the changes in perception of glutamate within Japanese society and traces the uses and perception of umami over time.
Evaluation of the ‘liking’ and ‘wanting’ properties of umami compound in rats
The findings indicate that the hedonic response and incentive salience of MSG is lower than those of sucrose when compared at the maximum response and that the incentive saliences of MSG are lower than sucrose even where the heDONic response is similar.
Expression of the metabotropic glutamate receptor, mGluR4a, in the taste hairs of taste buds in rat gustatory papillae.
The results of the present study strongly suggest that brain-mGluR4 may function even more importantly than the former as a receptor for glutamate, i.e. the umami taste sensation.


Receptor seeks ligand: On the way to cloning the molecular receptors for sweet and bitter taste
The cloning of two new taste receptors represents a scrumptious advance for this field of research, but determining their flavor still leaves one feeling slightly hungry
A metabotropic glutamate receptor variant functions as a taste receptor
A GPCR cloned from rat taste buds and functionally expressed in CHO cells is described, which shows an unusual concentration–response relationship and the similarity of its properties to MSG taste suggests that this receptor is a taste receptor for glutamate.
Basic properties of umami and effects on humans
Though the taste threshold of MSG was slightly lower than that of Na, the threshold of IMP was found to be controlled by Na, and it was found that the taste ofIMP was probably caused by glutamic acid in saliva, since IMP itself has no umami taste.
The Taste of Monosodium Glutamate: Membrane Receptors in Taste Buds
It is concluded that mGluR4 may be a chemosensory receptor responsible, in part, for the taste of MSG.
Putative Mammalian Taste Receptors A Class of Taste-Specific GPCRs with Distinct Topographic Selectivity
The cloning and characterization of two novel seven-transmembrane domain proteins expressed in topographically distinct subpopulations of taste receptor cells and taste buds are reported and it is proposed that these genes encode taste receptors.
Physiological evidence for ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors in rat taste cells.
The results suggest that NMDA-like receptors and at least two types of group III mGluRs are present in taste receptor cells, and these may be coactivated by MSG.
Probing the Ligand-binding Domain of the mGluR4 Subtype of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor*
It is suggested that the hydroxyl groups on the side chains of Ser159 and Thr182 of mGluR4 form hydrogen bonds with the α-carboxyl and α-amino groups on l-SOP, respectively, whereas Arg78 forms an electrostatic interaction with the acidic side chainsof l-serineO-phosphate or glutamate.
Taste Buds Have a Cyclic Nucleotide-activated Channel, CNGgust*
Results from reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and genomic DNA cloning and characterized a CNG channel (CNGgust) as a cyclic nucleotide-activated species expressed in rat tongue epithelial tissues where taste reception takes place strongly suggest the involvement of CNG gust in taste signal transduction.
A cyclic–nucleotide–suppressible conductance activated by transducin in taste cells
It is proposed that transducin, via phosphodiesterase, decreases cyclic nucleotide levels to activate the cyclic-nucleotide-suppressible conductance, leading to Ca2+ influx and taste-cell depolarization.
Responses to glutamate in rat taste cells.
The findings indicate that glutamate, at concentrations at or slightly above threshold for taste in rats, produces two different membrane currents, which suggest that there may be two different sets of nonspecific cation channels in taste cells.