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Human bitter taste is mediated by the hTAS2R family of G protein-coupled receptors. The discovery of the hTAS2Rs enables the potential to develop specific bitter receptor antagonists that could be beneficial as chemical probes to examine the role of bitter receptor function in gustatory and nongustatory tissues. In addition, they could have widespread(More)
Humans perceive thousands of compounds as bitter. In sharp contrast, only approximately 25 taste 2 receptors (TAS2R) bitter taste receptors have been identified, raising the question as to how the vast array of bitter compounds can be detected by such a limited number of sensors. To address this issue, we have challenged 25 human taste 2 receptors (hTAS2Rs)(More)
Bitterness perception in mammals is mediated through activation of dedicated bitter taste receptors located in the oral cavity. Genomic analyses revealed the existence of orthologous mammalian bitter taste receptor genes, which presumably recognize the same compounds in different species, as well as species-specific receptor gene expansions believed to(More)
Sesquiterpene lactones are a major class of natural bitter compounds occurring in vegetables and culinary herbs as well as in aromatic and medicinal plants, where they often represent the main gustatory and pharmacologically active component. Investigations on sesquiterpene lactones have mainly focused on their bioactive potential rather than on their(More)
Brazzein is a small, heat-, and pH-stable sweet protein present in the fruits of the West African plant Pentadiplandra brazzeana Baillon. It exists in two forms differing in sweetness intensity. The major form, called pyrE-bra, contains a pyroglutamic acid at its N-terminus, while the minor form, called des-pyrE-bra, lacks this residue. Here we describe(More)
Sensory-directed fractionation of traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena (TBV) led to the identification of the sweet-bitter tasting hexose acetates 6-O-acetyl-α/β-d-glucopyranose and 1-O-acetyl-β-d-fructopyranose as well as the previously unknown sweetness modulator 5-acetoxymethyl-2-furaldehyde. Taste re-engineering experiments and sensory time-intensity(More)
The recent advances in the functional expression of TAS2Rs in heterologous systems resulted in the identification of bitter tastants that specifically activate receptors of this family. All bitter taste receptors reported to date exhibit a pronounced selectivity for single substances or structurally related bitter compounds. In the present study we(More)
Gurmarin, a 35-residue polypeptide, is known to selectively inhibit responses to sweet substances in rodents without affecting responses to other basic taste stimuli, such as NaCl, HCl, and quinine. Here, we report the heterologous expression of gurmarin using the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. Gurmarin was secreted into the buffered minimal medium(More)
Food contains complex blends of structurally diverse bitter compounds that trigger bitterness through activation of one or more of the ∼25 human TAS2 bitter taste receptors. It remains unsolved, however, whether the perceived bitterness of binary bitter-compound mixtures can be considered an additive function of all bitter-inducing chemicals in the mouth,(More)