An interesting finding was reported in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences. Scientists from the Monell Chemical Senses Center report the interesting finding about the two proteins involved in oral taste detection that not only play a role in taste detection but also have crucial role in sperm development. The two proteins linked are TAS1R3, a component of both the sweet and umami (amino acid) taste receptors, and GNAT3, a molecule involved in converting the oral taste receptor signal into a nerve cell response. While breeding mice for taste-related studies, researchers observed that a group of mice was unable to reproduce that lacked two taste-signaling proteins. The experiments also reveal that this infertility was seen only in males and these proteins previously have been found on testes and sperm but until now their function were unknown.
The research team engineered the mice with missing genes and found that the mice turned fertile proving the connection between the tastebuds and fertility.
MNT, 03 Jul 2013