The molecular nature of sweet taste receptors has not been fully explored. Employing a differential screening strategy, we identified a taste receptor gene, Tre1, that controls the taste sensitivity to trehalose in Drosophila melanogaster. The Tre1 gene encodes a novel protein with similarity to G protein-coupled seven-transmembrane receptors. Disruption of the Tre1 gene lowered the taste sensitivity to trehalose, whereas sensitivities to other sugars were unaltered. Overexpression of the Tre1 gene restored the taste sensitivity to trehalose in the Tre1 deletion mutant. The Tre 1 gene is expressed in taste sensory cells. These results provide direct evidence that Tre1 encodes a putative taste receptor for trehalose in Drosophila.
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