Variant in a common odorant-binding protein gene is associated with bitter sensitivity in people

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Deeper understanding of signaling mechanisms underlying bitterness perception in people is essential for designing novel and effective bitter blockers, which could enhance nutrition and compliance with orally administered bitter-tasting drugs. Here we show that variability in a human odorant-binding protein gene, OBPIIa, associates with individual differences in bitterness perception of fat (oleic acid) and of a prototypical bitter stimulus, 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP), suggesting a novel olfactory role in the modulation of bitterness sensitivity.HighlightsWe show that olfaction plays an important role on people's bitter “taste” sensitivity.Variability in an odorant-binding protein gene associates with oleic acid bitterness.Variability in an odorant-binding protein gene associates with PROP bitterness.

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