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Future studies will focus on identifying the factors that program the Lgr5-expressing cells to differentiate into the different taste cell types, and explore how to grow these cells in culture, thus providing a renewable source of taste receptor cells for research and perhaps even clinical use.
A dynamic population of excitable cells: the taste receptor cells.
The TRPM5 ion channel is highly expressed in taste receptor cells and is associated with the perception of bitter, sweet and savory (umami) tastes.
Zhang said the team realized that the taste receptor cells in the attractive and repellant sensilla were likely locked in a tug-of-war over whether the fly would continue eating or go off in search of better food.
Zuker, Ryba, and other collaborators had previously identified unique taste receptors and taste receptor cells for each taste -- uncovering a "one taste, one cell class" coding scheme.
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