Post-Genome Biology of Primates Focusing on Taste Perception
There are many studies on the feeding behavior of primates as related to their environment. However, it has remained unclear how they taste and select specific foods. In this chapter, we introduce recent progress in the molecular biology of taste receptors, as one of the targets of post-genome biology, mainly focusing on humans and chimpanzees. Because there are many intraspecies polymorphisms as well as species-specific changes in amino acid sequences of taste receptors, analyzing these variations in combination with behavioral tests and meta-genome ecology will provide clues for elucidating how primates taste and select specific foods. This approach could also be applicable for elucidating the function of other species-specific or polymorphic genes found among the vast sequence data produced by genome projects.
KeywordsBitter Taste Taste Receptor Aristolochic Acid Bitter Taste Receptor Sweet Taste Receptor
Open reading frames
Single nucleotide polymorphisms
Taste receptor cells
We thank Dr. E. Nakajima for English correction, and the Great Ape Information Network (GAIN) for the information of individual chimpanzees. Our work described here was financially supported by global COE program A06 and by Grants-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan (20657044, 21370109, and 22247036), Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (D-1007) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan, and grants from the Takeda Foundation for Science and the Suzuken Memorial Foundation to H.I.