The sweet taste receptor (STR) is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) responsible for mediating cellular responses to sweet stimuli. Early evidence suggests that elements of the STR signaling system are present beyond the tongue in metabolically active tissues, where it may act as an extraoral glucose sensor. This study aimed to delineate expression of the STR in extraoral tissues using publicly available RNA-sequencing repositories. Gene expression data was mined for all genes implicated in the structure and function of the STR, and control genes including highly expressed metabolic genes in relevant tissues, other GPCRs and effector G proteins with physiological roles in metabolism, and other GPCRs with expression exclusively outside the metabolic tissues. Since the physiological role of the STR in extraoral tissues is likely related to glucose sensing, expression was then examined in diseases related to glucose-sensing impairment such as type 2 diabetes. An aggregate co-expression network was then generated to precisely determine co-expression patterns among the STR genes in these tissues. We found that STR gene expression was negligible in human pancreatic and adipose tissues, and low in intestinal tissue. Genes encoding the STR did not show significant co-expression or connectivity with other functional genes in these tissues. In addition, STR expression was higher in mouse pancreatic and adipose tissues, and equivalent to human in intestinal tissue. Our results suggest that STR expression in mice is not representative of expression in humans, and the receptor is unlikely to be a promising extraoral target in human cardiometabolic disease.

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