Bitter taste receptor polymorphisms and human aging.
ABSTRACT: Several studies have shown that genetic factors account for 25% of the variation in human life span. On the basis of published molecular, genetic and epidemiological data, we hypothesized that genetic polymorphisms of taste receptors, which modulate food preferences but are also expressed in a number of organs and regulate food absorption processing and metabolism, could modulate the aging process. Using a tagging approach, we investigated the possible associations between longevity and the common genetic variation at the three bitter taste receptor gene clusters on chromosomes 5, 7 and 12 in a population of 941 individuals ranging in age from 20 to 106 years from the South of Italy. We found that one polymorphism, rs978739, situated 212 bp upstream of the TAS2R16 gene, shows a statistically significant association (p?=?0.001) with longevity. In particular, the frequency of A/A homozygotes increases gradually from 35% in subjects aged 20 to 70 up to 55% in centenarians. These data provide suggestive evidence on the possible correlation between human longevity and taste genetics.
Project description:Bitter taste perception influences human nutrition and health, and the genetic variation underlying this trait may play a role in disease susceptibility. To better understand the genetic architecture and patterns of phenotypic variability of bitter taste perception, we sequenced a 996 bp region, encompassing the coding exon of TAS2R16, a bitter taste receptor gene, in 595 individuals from 74 African populations and in 94 non-Africans from 11 populations. We also performed genotype-phenotype association analyses of threshold levels of sensitivity to salicin, a bitter anti-inflammatory compound, in 296 individuals from Central and East Africa. In addition, we characterized TAS2R16 mutants in vitro to investigate the effects of polymorphic loci identified at this locus on receptor function. Here, we report striking signatures of positive selection, including significant Fay and Wu's H statistics predominantly in East Africa, indicating strong local adaptation and greater genetic structure among African populations than expected under neutrality. Furthermore, we observed a "star-like" phylogeny for haplotypes with the derived allele at polymorphic site 516 associated with increased bitter taste perception that is consistent with a model of selection for "high-sensitivity" variation. In contrast, haplotypes carrying the "low-sensitivity" ancestral allele at site 516 showed evidence of strong purifying selection. We also demonstrated, for the first time, the functional effect of nonsynonymous variation at site 516 on salicin phenotypic variance in vivo in diverse Africans and showed that most other nonsynonymous substitutions have weak or no effect on cell surface expression in vitro, suggesting that one main polymorphism at TAS2R16 influences salicin recognition. Additionally, we detected geographic differences in levels of bitter taste perception in Africa not previously reported and infer an East African origin for high salicin sensitivity in human populations.
Project description:In mammals, bitter taste is mediated by TAS2Rs, which belong to the family of seven transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors. Since TAS2Rs are directly involved in the interaction between mammals and their dietary sources, it is likely that these genes evolved to reflect species-specific diets during mammalian evolution. Here, we analyzed the amino acids responsible for the difference in sensitivities of TAS2R16s of various primates using a cultured cell expression system. We found that the sensitivity of TAS2R16 varied due to several amino acid residues. Mutation of amino acid residues at E86T, L247M, and V260F in human and langur TAS2R16 for mimicking the macaque TAS2R16 decreased the sensitivity of the receptor in an additive manner, which suggests its contribution to the potency of salicin, possibly via direct interaction. However, mutation of amino acid residues 125 and 133 in human TAS2R16, which are situated in helix 4, to the macaque sequence increased the sensitivity of the receptor. These results suggest the possibility that bitter taste sensitivities evolved independently by replacing specific amino acid residues of TAS2Rs in different primate species to adapt to species-specific food.
Project description:Background:Innate immunity utilizes components of sensory signal transduction such as bitter and sweet taste receptors. In fact, empirical evidence has shown bitter and sweet taste receptors to be an integral component of antimicrobial immune response in upper respiratory tract infections. Since an efficient immune response plays a key role in the attainment of longevity, it is not surprising that the rs978739 polymorphism of the bitter taste receptor TAS2R16 gene has been shown to be associated with longevity in a population of 941 individuals ranging in age from 20 to 106 years from Calabria (Italy). There are many possible candidate genes for human longevity, however of the many genes tested, only APOE and FOXO3 survived to association in replication studies. So, it is necessary to validate in other studies genes proposed to be associated with longevity. Thus, we analysed the association of the quoted polymorphism in a population of long lived individuals (LLIs) and controls from another Italian population from Cilento. Methods:The analysis has been performed on data previously obtained with genome-wide association study on a population of LLIs (age range 90-109 years) and young controls (age range 18-45 years) from Cilento (Italy). Results:Statistical power calculations showed that the analysed cohort represented by 410 LLIs and 553 young controls was sufficiently powered to replicate the association between rs978739 and the longevity phenotype according to the effect size and frequencies described in the previous paper, under a dominant and additive genetic model. However, no evidence of association between rs978739 and the longevity phenotype was observed according to the additive or dominant model. Conclusion:There are several reasons for the failure of the confirmation of a previous study. However, the differences between the two studies in terms of environment of the population adopted and of the criteria of inclusion have made difficult the replication of the findings.
Project description:Bitter taste perception, mediated by receptors encoded by the TAS2R loci, has important roles in human health and nutrition. Prior studies have demonstrated that nonsynonymous variation at site 516 in the coding exon of TAS2R16, a bitter taste receptor gene on chromosome 7, has been subject to positive selection and is strongly correlated with differences in sensitivity to salicin, a bitter anti-inflammatory compound, in human populations. However, a recent study suggested that the derived G-allele at rs702424 in the TAS2R16 promoter has also been the target of recent selection and may have an additional effect on the levels of salicin bitter taste perception. Here, we examined alleles at rs702424 for signatures of selection using Extended Haplotype Homozygosity (EHH) and FST statistics in diverse populations from West Central, Central and East Africa. We also performed a genotype-phenotype analysis of salicin sensitivity in a subset of 135 individuals from East Africa. Based on our data, we did not find evidence for positive selection at rs702424 in African populations, suggesting that nucleotide position 516 is likely the site under selection at TAS2R16. Moreover, we did not detect a significant association between rs702424 alleles and salicin bitter taste recognition, implying that this site does not contribute to salicin phenotypic variance. Overall, this study of African diversity provides further information regarding the genetic architecture and evolutionary history of a biologically-relevant trait in humans.
Project description:Genetic variants in bitter-taste receptor genes have been hypothesized to negatively impact health outcomes and/or influence dietary intake and, consequently, could increase the risk of colorectal neoplasia. Using a case-control study of 914 colorectal adenoma cases/1188 controls, we explored associations among colorectal adenoma risk, dietary intake, and genetic variation in 3 bitter-taste receptor genes: TAS2R38 (rs713598, rs1726866, rs10246939), TAS2R16 (rs846672), and TAS2R50 (rs1376251). Analysis of covariance was conducted to detect trends in dietary intake across TAS2R genotypes/haplotypes. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated by logistic regression to test gene-adenoma risk associations. No significant associations were observed between the TAS2R38 PAV/PAV diplotype or the TAS2R16 (rs846672) polymorphism with the selected diet variables. We observed weak inverse associations between the TAS2R50 (rs1376251) C allele and dietary fiber and vegetable intake (Ps < 0.015). Odds ratios for adenoma risk were not significantly different from the null. Our findings do not support a link between these TAS2R genotypes/haplotypes and dietary intake that could impact colorectal adenoma risk. However, given the paucity of data, we cannot dismiss the possibility that these genes may influence colorectal adenoma risk in other ways, such as through impaired gastrointestinal function, particularly in subgroups of the population.
Project description:Bitter taste stimuli are detected by a diverse family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) expressed in gustatory cells. Each bitter taste receptor (TAS2R) responds to an array of compounds, many of which are toxic and can be found in nature. For example, human TAS2R16 (hTAS2R16) responds to ?-glucosides such as salicin, and hTAS2R38 responds to thiourea-containing molecules such as glucosinolates and phenylthiocarbamide (PTC). While many substances are known to activate TAS2Rs, only one inhibitor that specifically blocks bitter receptor activation has been described. Here, we describe a new inhibitor of bitter taste receptors, p-(dipropylsulfamoyl)benzoic acid (probenecid), that acts on a subset of TAS2Rs and inhibits through a novel, allosteric mechanism of action. Probenecid is an FDA-approved inhibitor of the Multidrug Resistance Protein 1 (MRP1) transporter and is clinically used to treat gout in humans. Probenecid is also commonly used to enhance cellular signals in GPCR calcium mobilization assays. We show that probenecid specifically inhibits the cellular response mediated by the bitter taste receptor hTAS2R16 and provide molecular and pharmacological evidence for direct interaction with this GPCR using a non-competitive (allosteric) mechanism. Through a comprehensive analysis of hTAS2R16 point mutants, we define amino acid residues involved in the probenecid interaction that result in decreased sensitivity to probenecid while maintaining normal responses to salicin. Probenecid inhibits hTAS2R16, hTAS2R38, and hTAS2R43, but does not inhibit the bitter receptor hTAS2R31 or non-TAS2R GPCRs. Additionally, structurally unrelated MRP1 inhibitors, such as indomethacin, fail to inhibit hTAS2R16 function. Finally, we demonstrate that the inhibitory activity of probenecid in cellular experiments translates to inhibition of bitter taste perception of salicin in humans. This work identifies probenecid as a pharmacological tool for understanding the cell biology of bitter taste and as a lead for the development of broad specificity bitter blockers to improve nutrition and medical compliance.
Project description:Bitter taste enables the detection of potentially harmful substances and is mediated by bitter taste receptors, TAS2Rs, in vertebrates. Few antagonists and inverse agonists of TAS2Rs have been identified, especially natural compounds. TAS2R16s in humans, apes and Old World monkeys (Catarrhini, Anthropoidea) recognize ?-glucoside analogues as specific agonists. Here, we investigated responses of TAS2R16 to ?-glucosides in non-anthropoid primates, namely lemurs (Lemuriformes, Strepsirrhini). Salicin acted as an agonist on lemur TAS2R16. Arbutin acted as an agonist in the ring-tailed lemur ( Lemur catta) but as an inverse agonist in black lemur ( Eulemur macaco) and black-and-white ruffed lemur ( Varecia variegata). We identified a strepsirrhine-specific amino acid substitution responsible for the inverse agonism of arbutin. In a food preference test, salicin bitterness was inhibited by arbutin in the black lemur. Structural modelling revealed this locus was important for a rearrangement of the intracellular end of transmembrane helix 7 (TM7). Accordingly, arbutin is the first known natural inverse agonist of TAS2Rs, contributing to our understanding of receptor-ligand interactions and the molecular basis of the unique feeding habit diversification in lemurs. Furthermore, the identification of a causal point mutation suggests that TAS2R can acquire functional changes according to feeding habits and environmental conditions.
Project description:Bitter taste receptors play crucial roles in detecting bitter compounds not only in the oral cavity, but also in extraoral tissues where they are involved in a variety of non?tasting physiological processes. On the other hand, disorders or modifications in the sensitivity or expression of these extraoral receptors can affect physiological functions. Here we evaluated the role of the bitter receptor TAS2R38 in attainment of longevity, since it has been widely associated with individual differences in taste perception, food preferences, diet, nutrition, immune responses and pathophysiological mechanisms. Differences in genotype distribution and haplotype frequency at the TAS2R38 gene between a cohort of centenarian and near-centenarian subjects and two control cohorts were determined. Results show in the centenarian cohort an increased frequency of subjects carrying the homozygous genotype for the functional variant of TAS2R38 (PAV/PAV) and a decreased frequency of those having homozygous genotype for the non-functional form (AVI/AVI), as compared to those determined in the two control cohorts. In conclusion, our data providing evidence of an association between genetic variants of TAS2R38 gene and human longevity, suggest that TAS2R38 bitter receptor can be involved in the molecular physiological mechanisms implied in the biological process of aging.
Project description:Although bitter taste receptors (TAS2Rs) are important for human health, little is known of the determinants of ligand specificity. TAS2Rs such as TAS2R16 help define gustatory perception and dietary preferences that ultimately influence human health and disease. Each TAS2R must accommodate a broad diversity of chemical structures while simultaneously achieving high specificity so that diverse bitter toxins can be detected without all foods tasting bitter. However, how these G protein-coupled receptors achieve this balance is poorly understood. Here we used a comprehensive mutation library of human TAS2R16 to map its interactions with existing and novel agonists. We identified 13 TAS2R16 residues that contribute to ligand specificity and 38 residues whose mutation eliminated signal transduction by all ligands, providing a comprehensive assessment of how this GPCR binds and signals. Our data suggest a model in which hydrophobic residues on TM3 and TM7 form a broad ligand-binding pocket that can accommodate the diverse structural features of ?-glycoside ligands while still achieving high specificity.
Project description:Taste perception is crucial in monitoring food intake and, hence, is thought to play a significant role in human evolution. To gain insights into possible adaptive signatures in genes encoding bitter, sweet, and umami taste receptors, we surveyed the available sequence variation data from the 1000 Genomes Project Phase 3 for TAS1R (TAS1R1-3) and TAS2R (TAS2R16 and TAS2R38) families. Our study demonstrated that genes from these two families have experienced contrasting evolutionary histories: While TAS1R1 and TAS1R3 showed worldwide evidence of positive selection, probably correlated with improved umami and sweet perception, the patterns of variation displayed by TAS2R16 and TAS2R38 were more consistent with scenarios of balancing selection that possibly conferred a heterozygous advantage associated with better capacity to perceive a wide range of bitter compounds. In TAS2R16, such adaptive events appear to have occurred restrictively in mainland Africa, whereas the strongest evidence in TAS2R38 was detected in Europe. Despite plausible associations between taste perception and the TAS1R and TAS2R selective signatures, we cannot discount other biological mechanisms as driving the evolutionary trajectories of those TAS1R and TAS2R members, especially given recent findings of taste receptors behaving as the products of pleiotropic genes involved in many functions outside the gustatory system.