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A cross-talk between fat and bitter taste modalities

Khan, Amira S., Murtaza, Babar, Hichami, Aziz, Khan, Naim A.
Biochimie 2019 v.159 pp. 3-8
bitterness, humans, molecular biology, obesity, receptors, taste
The choice of food is governed largely by the sense of taste. To date, five basic taste modalities have been described; however, there is an increasing agreement on the existence of a 6th fat taste. The taste modalities might interact with each other and also with other senses. The advancements in cellular and molecular biology have helped the characterization of taste signaling mechanisms, down to the receptor level and beyond. CD36 and GPR120 have been shown to be involved in the detection of fat taste while bitter taste is perceived by a number of receptors that belong to a family of taste-type 2 receptors (T2R or TAS2R). Hence, the most common role is played by TAS2R16 and TAS2R38 in bitter taste perception in humans. Increasing evidences from behavioural studies suggest that fat and bitter taste modalities might interact with each other, and this interaction might be critical in obesity. In the current review, we will discuss the evidence from genetic and behavioural studies and propose the molecular mechanism of a cross-talk between fat and bitter tastes.