A Taste Receptor Required for the Caffeine Response In Vivo

Seok Jun Moon, Michael Köttgen, Yuchen Jiao, Hong Xu, Craig Montell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Caffeine is a methylxanthine present in the coffee tree, tea plant, and other naturally occurring sources and is among the most commonly consumed drugs worldwide. Whereas the pharmacological action of caffeine has been studied extensively, relatively little is known concerning the molecular mechanism through which this substance is detected as a bitter compound. Unlike most tastants, which are detected through cell-surface G protein-coupled receptors, it has been proposed that caffeine and related methylxanthines activate taste-receptor cells through inhibition of a cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) [1]. Here, we show that the gustatory receptor Gr66a is expressed in the dendrites of Drosophila gustatory receptor neurons and is essential for the caffeine response. In a behavioral assay, the aversion to caffeine was specifically disrupted in flies missing Gr66a. Caffeine-induced action potentials were also eliminated, as was the response to theophylline, the methylxanthine in tea. The Gr66a mutant exhibited normal tastant-induced action potentials upon presentation of theobromine, a methylxanthine in cocoa. Given that theobromine and caffeine inhibit PDEs with equal potencies [2, 3], these data further support the role of Gr66a rather than a PDE in mediating the caffeine response. Gr66a is the first gustatory receptor shown to be essential for caffeine-induced behavior and activity of gustatory receptor cells in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1812-1817
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume16
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 19 2006

Fingerprint

caffeine
Caffeine
Theobromine
theobromine
Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases
Tea
action potentials
tea
Action Potentials
bitter-tasting compounds
Cocoa
taste receptors
theophylline
Coffee
cyclic nucleotides
Cyclic Nucleotides
dendrites
cells
Theophylline
G-Protein-Coupled Receptors

Keywords

  • SYSNEURO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Moon, S. J., Köttgen, M., Jiao, Y., Xu, H., & Montell, C. (2006). A Taste Receptor Required for the Caffeine Response In Vivo. Current Biology, 16(18), 1812-1817. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2006.07.024

A Taste Receptor Required for the Caffeine Response In Vivo. / Moon, Seok Jun; Köttgen, Michael; Jiao, Yuchen; Xu, Hong; Montell, Craig.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 16, No. 18, 19.09.2006, p. 1812-1817.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Moon, SJ, Köttgen, M, Jiao, Y, Xu, H & Montell, C 2006, 'A Taste Receptor Required for the Caffeine Response In Vivo', Current Biology, vol. 16, no. 18, pp. 1812-1817. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2006.07.024
Moon SJ, Köttgen M, Jiao Y, Xu H, Montell C. A Taste Receptor Required for the Caffeine Response In Vivo. Current Biology. 2006 Sep 19;16(18):1812-1817. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2006.07.024
Moon, Seok Jun ; Köttgen, Michael ; Jiao, Yuchen ; Xu, Hong ; Montell, Craig. / A Taste Receptor Required for the Caffeine Response In Vivo. In: Current Biology. 2006 ; Vol. 16, No. 18. pp. 1812-1817.
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