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Nutrients 2014, 6(9), 3363-3381; doi:10.3390/nu6093363

Genetic Sensitivity to the Bitter Taste of 6-n-Propylthiouracil (PROP) and Its Association with Physiological Mechanisms Controlling Body Mass Index (BMI)

1
Department of Food Science, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520, USA
2
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Monserrato, CA 09042, Italy
These two authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 June 2014 / Revised: 11 August 2014 / Accepted: 15 August 2014 / Published: 27 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient: Gene Interactions)
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Abstract

Taste sensitivity to the bitter compound 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) is considered a marker for individual differences in taste perception that may influence food preferences and eating behavior, and thereby energy metabolism. This review describes genetic factors that may contribute to PROP sensitivity including: (1) the variants of the TAS2R38 bitter receptor with their different affinities for the stimulus; (2) the gene that controls the gustin protein that acts as a salivary trophic factor for fungiform taste papillae; and (3) other specific salivary proteins that could be involved in facilitating the binding of the PROP molecule with its receptor. In addition, we speculate on the influence of taste sensitivity on energy metabolism, possibly via modulation of the endocannabinoid system, and its possible role in regulating body composition homeostasis.
Keywords: PROP taste phenotype; BMI; endocannabinoid system PROP taste phenotype; BMI; endocannabinoid system
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tepper, B.J.; Banni, S.; Melis, M.; Crnjar, R.; Tomassini Barbarossa, I. Genetic Sensitivity to the Bitter Taste of 6-n-Propylthiouracil (PROP) and Its Association with Physiological Mechanisms Controlling Body Mass Index (BMI). Nutrients 2014, 6, 3363-3381.

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