Identification of functional bitter taste receptors and their antagonist in chickens

Bapon Dey, Fuminori Kawabata, Yuko Kawabata, Yuta Yoshida, Shotaro Nishimura, Shoji Tabata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Elucidation of the taste sense of chickens is important not only for the development of chicken feedstuffs for the chicken industry but also to help clarify the evolution of the taste sense among animals. There are three putative chicken bitter taste receptors, chicken T2R1 (cT2R1), cT2R2 and cT2R7, which were identified using genome information and cell-based assays. Previously, we have shown that cT2R1 is a functional bitter taste receptor through both cell-based assays and behavioral tests. In this study, therefore, we focused on the sensitivities of the other two bitter receptors, cT2R2 and cT2R7, by using their agonists in behavioral tests. We tested three agonists of cT2R2 and three agonists of cT2R7. In a 10-min drinking study, the intakes of cT2R2 agonist solutions were not different from that of water. On the other hand, the intakes of cT2R7 agonist solutions were significantly lower compared to water. In addition, we constructed cT2R1-and cT2R7-expressing cells in order to search for an antagonist for these functional bitter taste receptors. By using Ca2+ imaging methods, we found that 6-methoxyflavanone (6-meth) can inhibit the activities of both cT2R1 and cT2R7. Moreover, 6-meth also inhibited the reduction of the intake of bitter solutions containing cT2R1 or cT2R7 agonists in behavioral tests. Taken together, these results suggested that cT2R7 is a functional bitter taste receptor like cT2R1, but that cT2R2 is not, and that 6-meth is an antagonist for these two functional chicken bitter taste receptors. This is the first identification of an antagonist of chicken bitter receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-699
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 22 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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