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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2004 Jun;68(6):1403-7.

Neoculin as a new taste-modifying protein occurring in the fruit of Curculigo latifolia.

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  • 1Laboratory of Biological Function, Department of Applied Biological Chemistry, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


A unique taste-modifying activity that converts the sense of sourness to the sense of sweetness occurs in the fruit of the plant Curculigo latifolia, intrinsic to West Malaysia. The active component, known as curculin, is a protein consisting of two identical subunits. We have found a new taste-modifying protein, named neoculin, of the same origin. Both chemical analysis and cDNA cloning characterized neoculin as a heterodimeric protein consisting of an acidic, glycosylated subunit of 113 amino acid residues and a basic subunit that is the monomeric curculin itself.

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