Determination of the genotype of taste receptor gene in healthy adults and its correlation with BMI & dietary habits
Al Balushi, Maryam
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Introduction: Taste preferences have significant impact on eating behaviors and may be influenced by taste perception. Perception of taste may differ between individuals depending on genetic variations in certain taste receptor genes. Genetically determined variation in taste sensitivity in human groups was reported for four of the basic tastes: sweet, bitter, sour, and umami (1). There is growing evidence that "fat" may also be a distinct taste modality (10). Phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) is one of bitterness chemical , which was introduced accidently in 1930s, when a chemist named Arthur L. Fox. Fox concluded that, variation between people in tasting PTC divide them into taster (taster bitterness of PTC) and non-taster (cannot taste PTC). The taster form contains a proline at position 49, an alanine at position 262, and valine at position 296 (forming PAV), while the non-tasting form contains an alanine, a valine, and an isoleucine at these three positions, respectively (forming AVI) (36). . Many studies into sweet and bitter tastes have suggested relations between taste and body mass. For example: some studies have reported that obese people have more desire toward sweet tasting foods than normal-weight people (6). The aim of the project is the determination of the genotype of taste receptor gene in healthy adults and its correlation with BMI & dietary habit. Methods: a sample of human cells is obtained by scraping of cheeks to remove buccal (cheek) cells. DNA is extracted by imulsfying cheek cells into chelex suspension, then Proteinase K is added, incubation at 56˚C for 30 minutes, incubation at 98˚C for 15 minutes, transfer supernatant which containing buccal cell DNA. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is then used to amplify a short region of the TAS2R38 gene. The amplified PCR product is digested with restriction enzyme HaeШ, whose recognition sequence includes one of the SNPs. One allele is cut by the enzyme, and one is not, producing a restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) that can be separated on 2% agarose gel. Results: According to this study on TAS2R38 gene SNPs 145, there was 63% of the group heterozygote-tasters (Tt), 32% homozygote-nontasters (tt), and only 5% homozygote-tasters (TT). Conclusion: The SNP genotype is a good predictor of a taster status. Ability to be a taster for bitterness act as protection against poisonous plants. However, some scientists believe the PTC is under "balancing selection" which mean negative effects of not being a taster are balanced out by some type of positive effects.(25)
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