Nav: Home

New bitter blocker discovered

June 02, 2011

PHILADELPHIA (June 2, 2011) -- Although bitterness can sometimes be desirable - such as in the taste of coffee or chocolate - more often bitter taste causes rejection that can interfere with food selection, nutrition and therapeutic compliance. This is especially true for children. Now, scientists from the Monell Center and Integral Molecular describe the discovery of a compound that inhibits bitterness by acting directly on a subset of bitter taste receptors.

"Bitter taste is a major problem for pediatric drug compliance and also for proper nutrition, such as eating those healthy but bitter green vegetables," said Monell senior author Paul Breslin, Ph.D., a sensory biologist. "But we currently have very limited ways to effectively control bitter taste."

Bitterness is detected by a family of approximately 25 different taste receptors called TAS2Rs. Together, the TAS2Rs respond to a broad array of structurally different compounds, many of which are found in nature and can be toxic.

Discovery of bitter blockers would help scientists understand the signaling mechanisms of these receptors and promote the design of novel and more effective blockers.

Monell and Integral Molecular are collaborating on a large project to understand the structure and function of TAS2Rs. In a serendipitous discovery, the researchers found that probenecid, a molecule frequently used in receptor assays, is an inhibitor of a subset of bitter taste receptors. Probenecid also is an FDA-approved therapeutic for gout.

In the study, published in PLoS ONE, a series of in vitro studies revealed that probenecid does not physically block interaction of bitter molecules with the receptor's primary binding site. Rather, it appears to bind elsewhere on the receptor to modulate the receptor's ability to interact with the bitter molecule.

"Probenecid's mechanism of action makes it a useful tool for understanding how bitter receptors function," said Integral Molecular senior author Joseph B. Rucker, Ph.D. "This knowledge will help us develop more potent bitter taste inhibitors."

A series of human sensory studies established that probenecid robustly inhibited the bitter taste of salicin, a compound that stimulates one of the target receptors.

"This demonstrates how we can take in vitro experiments and go on to show how they make a difference functionally and perceptually," said Breslin.

Additional studies will continue to explore the structure and function of TAS2Rs. The overall goal is to identify the regions of the receptors that contribute to bitter molecule binding and how binding events lead to signaling events within the cell.

Understanding modulation of bitter receptor function may have additional implications for the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, as bitter taste receptors also are expressed in the nose, the lungs and the intestines.
-end-
Also contributing to the research were first author Tiffani A. Greene, Anu Thomas, Eli Berdougo, and Benjamin J. Doranz of Integral Molecular, and Suzanne Alarcon of Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. Dr. Breslin is also faculty at Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. The research was funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

The Monell Chemical Senses Center is an independent nonprofit basic research institute based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Monell advances scientific understanding of the mechanisms and functions of taste and smell to benefit human health and well-being. Using an interdisciplinary approach, scientists collaborate in the programmatic areas of sensation and perception; neuroscience and molecular biology; environmental and occupational health; nutrition and appetite; health and well-being; development, aging and regeneration; and chemical ecology and communication. For more information about Monell, visit www.monell.org.

Integral Molecular is a biotechnology company committed to providing innovative solutions for scientific research and drug discovery applications involving integral membrane proteins. Integral Molecular is a privately-owned company founded in 2001 and located in central Philadelphia. The company has been working with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic customers and collaborators since its inception, providing membrane protein related products and services that advance its customers' scientific objectives. For more information about Integral Molecular, visit www.integralmolecular.com.

Monell Chemical Senses Center

Related Nutrition Articles:

Learning about nutrition from 'food porn' and online quizzes
Harvard and Columbia researchers designed an online experiment to test how people learn about nutrition in the context of a social, online quiz.
4 exciting advances in food and nutrition research
New discoveries tied to how food affects our body and why we make certain food choices could help inform nutrition plans and policies that encourage healthy food choices.
Cutting-edge analytics allows health to be improved through nutrition
The company Lipigenia, which specializes in setting out guidelines on appropriate nutrition to achieve people's well-being on the basis of state-of-the-art blood analytics, has embarked on its activity following the partnership reached between AZTI, the Italian enterprise CNR-ISOF and Intermedical Solutions Worldwide.
Nothing fishy about better nutrition for mums and babies
Researchers from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and the University of Adelaide have found a way to provide mothers and young children in Cambodia with better nutrition through an unlikely source -- fish sauce.
Nutrition information... for cows?
Cattle need a mixture is legume and grass for a healthy, balanced diet.
Analyzing picture books for nutrition education
Feeding children can be a challenging process for many parents.
Researchers develop new framework for human nutrition
Existing models for measuring health impacts of the human diet are limiting our capacity to solve obesity and its related health problems, claim two of the world's leading nutritional scientists in their newest research.
Nutrition labels on dining hall food: Are they being used? By who?
University of Illinois dining halls voluntarily label foods with nutrition information.
Children's nutrition influenced by local neighborhoods
In an innovative study, Dr. Gilliland and his team used GPS technology to provide evidence that adolescents' exposure to junk food outlets during trips to and from school affects their likelihood of making a junk food purchase.
Leading nutrition experts speak up about malnutrition
Malnutrition is a critical public health problem, affecting many people across the United States and around the world.

Related Nutrition Reading:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 5th Ed
by Roberta Larson Duyff (Author)

The newest edition of the most trusted nutrition bible.

Since its first, highly successful edition in 1996, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide has continually served as the gold-standard resource for advice on healthy eating and active living at every age and stage of life. At once accessible and authoritative, the guide effectively balances a practical focus with the latest scientific information, serving the needs of consumers and health professionals alike. Opting for flexibility over rigid dos and don’ts, it allows readers... View Details


Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food
by Catherine Shanahan M.D. (Author)

One of the Best Health and Wellness Books of 2017 ― Sports Illustrated


A self-published phenomenon examining the habits that kept our ancestors disease-free―now with a prescriptive plan for “The Human Diet” to help us all live long, vital, healthy lives.

Physician and biochemist Cate Shanahan, M.D. examined diets around the world known to help people live longer, healthier lives―diets like the Mediterranean, Okinawa, and “Blue Zone”―and identified the four common nutritional habits, developed over millennia, that unfailingly produce... View Details


Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
by T. Colin Campbell (Author), Howard Jacobson (Contributor)

New York Times Bestseller

What happens when you eat an apple? The answer is vastly more complex than you imagine.

Every apple contains thousands of antioxidants whose names, beyond a few like vitamin C, are unfamiliar to us, and each of these powerful chemicals has the potential to play an important role in supporting our health. They impact thousands upon thousands of metabolic reactions inside the human body. But calculating the specific influence of each of these chemicals isn’t nearly sufficient to explain the effect of the apple as a whole. Because almost... View Details


How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
by Michael Greger M.D. (Author), Gene Stone (Author)

New York Times Bestseller

“This book may help those who are susceptible to illnesses that can be prevented.”
―His Holiness the Dalai Lama

“Absolutely the best book I’ve read on nutrition and diet”
–Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones Solution

From the physician behind the wildly popular Nutrition Facts website, How Not to Die reveals the groundbreaking scientific evidence behind the only diet that can help prevent and reverse many of the causes of... View Details


Nutrition For Dummies
by Carol Ann Rinzler (Author)

Get the straight facts on nutrition, slim down, and feel great

You've been hearing it since you were a kid: "You are what you eat." And this wise saying is true! Good nutrition is the key to achieving and maintaining healthy weight and lifelong good health—no matter how you slice it. Nutrition For Dummies, 6th Edition is a one-size-fits-all guide to nutrition that shows you how to manage your diet so you get the most bang for your buck. This book gives you the know-how to put together a shopping list, prepare healthy foods, and easily cut calories.

The latest edition... View Details


Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies - Standalone book (MindTap Course List)
by Frances Sizer (Author), Ellie Whitney (Author)

Build a healthier future with Sizer/Whitney's NUTRITION: CONCEPTS AND CONTROVERSIES! Updated throughout and featuring the new Dietary Guidelines, this clear and engaging market leader strikes the perfect balance of scientific research, core concepts, and relevant applications. With a lively and approachable writing style, the authors dispel existing misconceptions and empower you to make better nutrition choices and enact real, lasting behavior change. View Details


Understanding Nutrition
by Eleanor Noss Whitney (Author), Sharon Rady Rolfes (Author)

More than one million readers make UNDERSTANDING NUTRITION the best-selling introductory nutrition book on the market today! Now in its 14th Edition, this book maintains the quality and support that discerning readers demand in nutrition applications and science that are ideal at introductory levels. New and updated topics refresh every chapter, along with the emphasis on active learning, assignable content, and integrated resources that help you advance your knowledge and career. Connecting with you through an approachable writing style, UNDERSTANDING NUTRITION, 14th Edition includes twenty... View Details


Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook-5th Edition
by Nancy Clark (Author)

Boost your energy, manage stress, build muscle, lose fat, and improve your performance. The best-selling nutrition guide is now better than ever!

Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook will help you make the right choices in cafes, convenience stores, drive-throughs, and your own kitchen.

Whether you’re preparing for competition or simply eating for an active lifestyle, let this leading sports nutritionist show you how to get maximum benefit from the foods you choose and the meals you make. You’ll learn what to eat before and during exercise and... View Details


Nutrition (Quick Study Health)
by Inc. BarCharts (Author)

Proper nutrition is crucial for maintaining one’s general health and well-being; with that in mind, you’ll discover a wealth of nutritional information within this newly updated and expanded version of our best-selling Nutrition study guide. Each aspect of nutrition―from carbohydrates to vitamins―is comprehensively examined, with key definitions, examples, charts, and full-color illustrations provided for additional clarity.

View Details


Integrative Nutrition: A Whole-Life Approach to Health and Happiness
by Joshua Rosenthal (Author)

There is no one-size-fits-all diet.

Fad diets all promise miraculous results for your outward appearance – yet people continue to eat poorly, gain weight and depend on medications and operations to maintain their health.

It's time for a reality check: there is no one-size-fits-all diet. Learn the secrets of intuitive eating and start building a new relationship with your body. Integrative Nutrition is loaded with valuable insights into nutritional theories, simple ways to nurture your body and holistic approaches to maximize health. Integrative... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Inspire To Action
What motivates us to take up a cause, follow a leader, or create change? This hour, TED speakers explore stories of inspirational leadership, and what makes some movements more successful than others. Guests include high school history teacher Diane Wolk-Rogers, writer and behavioral researcher Simon Sinek, 2016 Icelandic presidential candidate Halla Tómasdóttir, professor of leadership Jochen Menges, and writer and activist Naomi Klein.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#474 Appearance Matters
This week we talk about appearance, bodies, and body image. Why does what we look like affect our headspace so much? And how do we even begin to research a topic as personal and subjective as body image? To try and find out, we speak with some of the researchers at the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at the University of the West of England in Bristol. Psychology Professor Phillippa Diedrichs walks us through body image research, what we know so far, and how we know what we know. Professor of Appearance and Health Psychology Diana Harcourt talks about visible...