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Published October 16, 2009 | Accepted Version + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

The Taste of Carbonation


Carbonated beverages are commonly available and immensely popular, but little is known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the perception of carbonation in the mouth. In mammals, carbonation elicits both somatosensory and chemosensory responses, including activation of taste neurons. We have identified the cellular and molecular substrates for the taste of carbonation. By targeted genetic ablation and the silencing of synapses in defined populations of taste receptor cells, we demonstrated that the sour-sensing cells act as the taste sensors for carbonation, and showed that carbonic anhydrase 4, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored enzyme, functions as the principal CO_2 taste sensor. Together, these studies reveal the basis of the taste of carbonation as well as the contribution of taste cells in the orosensory response to CO_2.

Additional Information

© 2009 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received for publication 6 April 2009. Accepted for publication 17 August 2009. We thank W. Guo and A. Becker for generation and maintenance of mouse lines, M. Hoon for help in the initial phase of this work, E. R. Swenson for a generous gift of benzolamide, M. Goulding for Rosa26-flox-STOP-TeNT mice, A. Waheed for Car4 antibodies, and members of the Zuker laboratory for valuable comments. Supported in part by the intramural research program of the NIH, NIDCR (N.J.P.R.). C.S.Z. is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Attached Files

Accepted Version - nihms466969.pdf

Supplemental Material - Chandrashekar.SOM.pdf


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