Navigation Links
Evolution of taste receptor may have shaped human sensitivity to toxic compounds

Researchers have found new evidence suggesting that the ability to taste bitter compounds has been strongly advantageous in human evolution.

Animals rely on chemical perception, including the senses of taste and smell, for protection against the harmful compounds found in nature. It is widely believed that behavioral and dietary choices may have reduced the importance of such chemical perception in higher primates, and particularly in humans.

In new work, researchers including Nicole Soranzo of University College London and Bernd Bufe of the German Institute of Human Nutrition have shed light on the potential role natural selection has played in forming our present sensitivities and protecting us from harmful natural chemicals. The research team analyzed the nucleotide sequence of a human gene encoding a bitter-taste receptor that mediates recognition of a class of naturally ubiquitous, but toxic, cyanide-releasing compounds. By analyzing sequences from a large sample of individuals representing 60 human populations, the researchers found evidence that specific variants of the receptor gene have been strongly favored in the early stages of human evolution. Employing additional gene sequence analyses, the authors estimated that the favorably selected versions of the receptor gene arose prior to the expansion of humans out of Africa.

The researchers went on to show experimentally that such variants of the receptor, when expressed in individual cells, conferred an increased sensitivity toward several harmful compounds found in nature.

The work strongly supports a pivotal role for bitter-taste perception in toxin avoidance in humans, an attribute that could have come into particular play during periods of expansion into new environments. More broadly, the work contributes to the debate on the mechanisms governing the evolution of chemical sensory perception and on the role of diet as a selective force in human evolution.


'"/>

Source:Cell Press


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. To Stop Evolution: New Way Of Fighting Antibiotic Resistance Demonstrated By Scripps Scientists
2. Evolution of life on Earth may hold key to finding life in outer space
3. Evolutionary conservation of a mechanism of longevity from worms to mammals
4. Evolutionary biology research techniques predict cancer
5. Evolutionary shifts in olfactory sensitivities in fruit flies
6. Evolution follows few of the possible paths to antibiotic resistance
7. Evolution mystery: Spider venom and bacteria share same toxin
8. Evolution of irreducible complexity explained
9. Evolutionary scrap-heap challenge: Antifreeze fish make sense out of junk DNA
10. Evolutionary forces explain why women live longer than men
11. Evolution reveals an independent route for diversity in animal form
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:9/12/2018)... (PRWEB) , ... September 12, 2018 , ... ... intuitive spine fusion solutions announced today it has received 510(k) clearance from the ... Screw complementing its TowerLOX® MIS Pedicle Screw System. , TowerLOX-EXT MIS Extended Tab ...
(Date:9/1/2018)... ... 2018 , ... Right this minute, Frenchman Ben Lecomte is hard at work on his second ... taken on a new challenge: going from Tokyo to San Francisco, churning his limbs eight ... the support boat. As the first expedition of its kind, The Swim is far more ...
(Date:8/31/2018)... BELLINGHAM, Wash., and CARDIFF, Wales (PRWEB) , ... ... ... European Space Agency. Martha Sanchez, senior scientist, IBM Research. Jacklyn Novak, infrared materials ... that of Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician who just celebrated her 100th birthday. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/29/2018)... ... August 28, 2018 , ... Nanovis , an innovative ... completion of a $5.5 million funding round managed by Commenda Securities. Key investors ... and Ellipsis Ventures. , “Our investment in Nanovis is consistent with our mission ...
(Date:8/29/2018)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... August 28, 2018 , ... ... scientists from around the world, is proud to announce the launch of a new ... offers for a chance to win one of LabRoots most popular shirts. , Throughout ...
(Date:8/23/2018)... RENO/TAHOE, Nev. (PRWEB) , ... August 22, 2018 ... ... TrialKit ™ for Android on September 1st, making it the first fully-featured ... both iOS and Android devices. Combined, iOS and Android constitute 99 percent of ...
(Date:8/17/2018)... ... August 16, 2018 , ... The opening of the new ... Chemko Technical Services in 2016. Chemko had a well established local presence, servicing the ... KSC on projects such as the ongoing work at the Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) ...
Breaking Biology Technology: