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New "Taste Terminator" Research Applies to Bitter Taste Reactions

Posted: August 3, 2011

The journal PLoS ONE recently published an article on how researchers collaborating from the Monell Chemical Senses Center and Givaudan found a “taste terminator” protein that may have a direct impact on how people perceive bitter taste signals.

Titled “Sarco/Endoplasmic Reticulum Ca2+-ATPases (SERCA) Contribute to GPCR-Mediated Taste Perception,” Monell molecular biologist says of the research, “Individual differences in the genes that are responsible for taste termination may explain why some people are supersensitive to certain tastes. Our findings also suggest that medicines that cause patients to report unpleasant taste distortions or phantom tastes may be interfering with taste termination proteins. If so, it may be possible to develop ways to minimize these unpleasant side effects that are significant barriers to patient compliance.”