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Development of taste receptor ligands using structure-activity studies

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R43DC010105-01
Agency Tracking Number: DC010105
Amount: $696,243.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2009-2
Solicitation Year: 2009
Award Year: 2009
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
United States
DUNS: 034055645
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (215) 966-6069
Business Contact
Phone: (215) 966-6018
Research Institution

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): As the primary mechanism by which animals detect nutrient-rich foods and discriminate against toxins, the sense of taste has a significant impact on health and behavior. Bitter tastes are perceived with high sensitivity and broad specificity, and can evoke strong aversive reactions that influence health-related behaviors such as dietary preference and pharmaceutical compliance. Conversely, sweet taste facilitates the detection and consumption of high carbohydrate (and hence highly caloric) foods, but over-consumption of calories can lead to obesity and diabetes. It is therefore desirable in many circumstances to manipulate taste perception and/or to provide taste substitutes. Bitter, sweet, and umami (savory) tastes are detected at the cellular level by a family of taste receptors (TASRs), which belong to the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily of proteins. Because they are refractory to direct structural visualization such as x-ray crystallography, very little is known about the structural features of TASRs that are responsible for binding ligands. Elucidating TASR-ligand structural interactions could enable the development of health-related products, such as bitter blockers and sugar substitutes. The results of this proposal would enable ligands of TASRs, and possibly other GPCRs, to be developed. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Taste ligands are currently used to mask aversive tastes, improve patient compliance, influence choice of foods, and modify caloric intake, so routinely influence daily human activity. This proposal will contribute to human health by using a research platform to discover novel taste ligands.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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