Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of



Sunil Kumar Sukumaran

Date of this Version



Sukumaran, S.K.; Palayyan, S.R. Sweet Taste Signaling: The Core Pathways and Regulatory Mechanisms. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23, 8225. ijms23158225


Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license


Sweet taste, a proxy for sugar-derived calories, is an important driver of food intake, and animals have evolved robust molecular and cellular machinery for sweet taste signaling. The overconsumption of sugar-derived calories is a major driver of obesity and other metabolic diseases. A fine-grained appreciation of the dynamic regulation of sweet taste signaling mechanisms will be required for designing novel noncaloric sweeteners with better hedonic and metabolic profiles and improved consumer acceptance. Sweet taste receptor cells express at least two signaling pathways, one mediated by a heterodimeric G-protein coupled receptor encoded by taste 1 receptor members 2 and 3 (TAS1R2 + TAS1R3) genes and another by glucose transporters and the ATP-gated potassium (KATP) channel. Despite these important discoveries, we do not fully understand the mechanisms regulating sweet taste signaling. We will introduce the core components of the above sweet taste signaling pathways and the rationale for having multiple pathways for detecting sweet tastants. We will then highlight the roles of key regulators of the sweet taste signaling pathways, including downstream signal transduction pathway components expressed in sweet taste receptor cells and hormones and other signaling molecules such as leptin and endocannabinoids.