The Science Behind Your Sip™
G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) make up the largest family of human cell surface receptors and are involved in a wide range of physiological functions, such as sight, taste, smell, behavioral, and mood regulation, and regulation of the immune system.
Specific GPCRs, such as sweet (T1R) and bitter (T2R) taste receptors, were first identified in taste bud type II cells and function as chemoreceptors that interact with taste stimuli to initiate a signal transmitted to the brain, resulting in taste perception.
Sweet (T1R) GPCRs respond to sugars and play a central role in perception of sweet and umami tastes in humans.
High T1R (Sweet Taste Expression) leads to High Sweetness Perception or a High Ability to Detect Sugars
Low T1R (Sweet Taste Expression) leads to Low Sweetness Perception or a Low Ability to Detect Sugars
Bitter (T2R) GPCRs respond to bitter compounds and play a central role in perception of bitter tastes in humans. T2Rs are genetically diverse and help to explain the wide variety of taste preference both within and between cultures.
High T2R (Bitter Taste Expression) leads to High Bitterness Perception or a High Ability to Detect Bitterness
Low T2R (Bitter Taste Expression) leads to Low Bitterness Perception or a Low Ability to Detect Bitterness
T1R/T2R Relationship and Wine
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High T1R Receptors
(Sweet Taste Expression)
Wide range of bitterness and/or astringency to balance the increase in perceived sugar control.
High T2R Receptors
(Bitter Taste Expression)
Higher sugar content of wines to balance higher perceived bitterness and/or astringency.
Genetics of Taste Perception
The genetic locus for T2R38, TAS2R38, has common polymorphisms that tend to segregate together, and each allele is typically inherited one from each parent, resulting in three primary combinations:
PAV/PAV - Homozygous Functional
PAV/AVI - Heterozygous
AVI/AVI - Homozygous Non-Functional