Receptor Polymorphism and Genomic Structure Interact to Shape Bitter Taste Perception


Human bitter taste is believed to protect us from the ingestion of poisonous substances, thereby shaping food rejections. Bitter perception differs, however, across individuals, due to genetic variations in the ~25 bitter taste receptor (TAS2R) genes. A famous example known since the 1930s is the inherited bitter taste sensitivity to phenylthiocarbamide, which is associated with genetic polymorphisms in a single TAS2R gene. Yet, such simple receptor-substance associations do not reflect the full complexity of bitter perception, since individual bitter substances frequently activate several TAS2Rs. Here, we provide an in-depth analysis of the genetic variability influencing human bitter taste. While each study subject carried a different set of genetic polymorphisms, we found that most variations reside in just six blocks, each harboring only one to five haplotypes. Thus, besides simple associations between taste and TAS2R gene polymorphisms, we revealed complex associations dependent on linkage between several high- and low-sensitivity alleles. Indeed, subjects carried either sensitive or insensitive alleles for receptors sensitive to grosheimin, a bitter compound in artichoke, or at least one sensitive allele for receptors specific for absinthin, the bitter principle of absinth. In short, simple associations and complex genomic linkage determine sensitivity to selected dietary bitter compounds.


Vyšlo v časopise: Receptor Polymorphism and Genomic Structure Interact to Shape Bitter Taste Perception. PLoS Genet 11(9): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005530
Kategorie: Research Article
prolekare.web.journal.doi_sk: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005530

Souhrn

Human bitter taste is believed to protect us from the ingestion of poisonous substances, thereby shaping food rejections. Bitter perception differs, however, across individuals, due to genetic variations in the ~25 bitter taste receptor (TAS2R) genes. A famous example known since the 1930s is the inherited bitter taste sensitivity to phenylthiocarbamide, which is associated with genetic polymorphisms in a single TAS2R gene. Yet, such simple receptor-substance associations do not reflect the full complexity of bitter perception, since individual bitter substances frequently activate several TAS2Rs. Here, we provide an in-depth analysis of the genetic variability influencing human bitter taste. While each study subject carried a different set of genetic polymorphisms, we found that most variations reside in just six blocks, each harboring only one to five haplotypes. Thus, besides simple associations between taste and TAS2R gene polymorphisms, we revealed complex associations dependent on linkage between several high- and low-sensitivity alleles. Indeed, subjects carried either sensitive or insensitive alleles for receptors sensitive to grosheimin, a bitter compound in artichoke, or at least one sensitive allele for receptors specific for absinthin, the bitter principle of absinth. In short, simple associations and complex genomic linkage determine sensitivity to selected dietary bitter compounds.


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