Sensory Perception

A Lack of Taste

Science's STKE  25 Feb 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 171, pp. tw85-TW85
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.171.tw85

In 1931, Science published the finding that many individuals are unable to taste phenylthiocarbamide. Now, Kim et al. have determined the molecular basis of this trait using single nucleotide polymorphisms to identify a gene associated with taste insensitivity; it encodes a member of the TAS2R bitter taste receptor family. The combination of three polymorphisms within inherited units in the population gives rise to the breadth of variation in tasting ability.

U. Kim, E. Jorgenson, H. Coon, M. Leppert, N. Risch, D. Drayna, Positional cloning of the human quantitative trait locus underlying taste sensitivity to phenylthiocarbamide. Science 299, 1221-1225 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]