Identification of the vesicular nucleotide transporter (VNUT) in taste cells

Ken Iwatsuki, Reiko Ichikawa, Miki Hiasa, Yoshinori Moriyama, Kunio Torii, Hisayuki Uneyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Taste cells are chemosensory epithelial cells that sense distinct taste qualities. It is the type II taste cell that express G-protein coupled receptors to sense either umami, sweet, or bitter compounds. Whereas several reports have suggested involvement of ATP in taste signal transduction, there is a paucity of molecular information about how ATP is stored and being released. The recent discovery of a novel vesicular nucleotide transporter (VNUT) led us to examine whether VNUT exist in the taste tissue where ATP is to be released for taste signal transmission. Here, we report that VNUT is selectively expressed in type II cell but not in type III taste cell. In addition, we show that during taste bud development VNUT expression is always accompanied by the expression of type II taste cell markers. Our results, together with previous studies, strongly suggest that VNUT plays a role in type II taste cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 9 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • ATP
  • Neurotransmitter
  • Taste cell
  • VNUT
  • Vesicular transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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