What is it about?

Sweet and Umami receptors, ones of taste receptors, recognize a wide array of chemicals in foods and induce preferable taste sensations. Currently, only the taste-substance binding domain in the T1r2a/T1r3 receptor in medaka fish, corresponding to sweet and umami receptors in humans, is amenable to being produced in laboratories. Using this medaka receptor as a model protein, we established a method to analyze the binding of chemicals to the receptor in a high-throughput manner and verified that the results from the method are indeed correlated with the taste receptor responses.

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Why is it important?

So far, the production of taste receptor protein outside of living bodies has been difficult. Therefore, analytical methods for taste receptor responses have been limited to those using cellular or nerve systems. The analytical methods using protein samples are expected to be more feasible and reproducible compared to the existing methods.


If the protein sample production of human sweet or umami receptors will be achieved in the future, this method is useful for proceeding with taste receptor studies in basic sciences. It can also serve as a high-throughput screening system for taste substances useful for food industries.

Atsuko Yamashita
Okayama University

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This page is a summary of: Differential scanning fluorimetric analysis of the amino-acid binding to taste receptor using a model receptor protein, the ligand-binding domain of fish T1r2a/T1r3, PLoS ONE, October 2019, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218909.
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