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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(3), 5945-5974; doi:10.3390/ijms16035945

Molecular Mechanisms of Taste Recognition: Considerations about the Role of Saliva

Private Practitioner, Ludvigsmindevej 14, st. Faaborg DK-5600, Denmark
Clinic of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Semmelweis University Budapest, Szentkirályi utca 47, Budapest H-1088, Hungary
Clinic of Prosthetic Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Semmelweis University Budapest, Szentkirályi utca 47, Budapest H-1088, Hungary
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lyle Isaacs
Received: 7 February 2015 / Revised: 5 March 2015 / Accepted: 6 March 2015 / Published: 13 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Recognition)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [736 KB, uploaded 13 March 2015]


The gustatory system plays a critical role in determining food preferences and food intake, in addition to nutritive, energy and electrolyte balance. Fine tuning of the gustatory system is also crucial in this respect. The exact mechanisms that fine tune taste sensitivity are as of yet poorly defined, but it is clear that various effects of saliva on taste recognition are also involved. Specifically those metabolic polypeptides present in the saliva that were classically considered to be gut and appetite hormones (i.e., leptin, ghrelin, insulin, neuropeptide Y, peptide YY) were considered to play a pivotal role. Besides these, data clearly indicate the major role of several other salivary proteins, such as salivary carbonic anhydrase (gustin), proline-rich proteins, cystatins, alpha-amylases, histatins, salivary albumin and mucins. Other proteins like glucagon-like peptide-1, salivary immunoglobulin-A, zinc-α-2-glycoprotein, salivary lactoperoxidase, salivary prolactin-inducible protein and salivary molecular chaperone HSP70/HSPAs were also expected to play an important role. Furthermore, factors including salivary flow rate, buffer capacity and ionic composition of saliva should also be considered. In this paper, the current state of research related to the above and the overall emerging field of taste-related salivary research alongside basic principles of taste perception is reviewed. View Full-Text
Keywords: taste; perception; receptor; saliva; salivary taste; perception; receptor; saliva; salivary
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Fábián, T.K.; Beck, A.; Fejérdy, P.; Hermann, P.; Fábián, G. Molecular Mechanisms of Taste Recognition: Considerations about the Role of Saliva. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 5945-5974.

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