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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014 Apr 4;446(2):499-503. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.02.140. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

Differential expression of bitter taste receptors in non-cancerous breast epithelial and breast cancer cells.

Author information

1
Department of Oral Biology, University of Manitoba, and The Manitoba Institute of Child Health, Winnipeg, MB R3E 0W4, Canada.
2
Department of Oral Biology, University of Manitoba, and The Manitoba Institute of Child Health, Winnipeg, MB R3E 0W4, Canada. Electronic address: Prashen.Chelikani@umanitoba.ca.

Abstract

The human bitter taste receptors (T2Rs) are chemosensory receptors that belong to the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily. T2Rs are present on the surface of oral and many extra-oral cells. In humans 25 T2Rs are present, and these are activated by hundreds of chemical molecules of diverse structure. Previous studies have shown that many bitter compounds including chloroquine, quinidine, bitter melon extract and cucurbitacins B and E inhibit tumor growth and induce apoptosis in cancer cells. However, the existence of T2Rs in cancer cell is not yet elucidated. In this report using quantitative (q)-PCR and flow cytometry, we characterized the expression of T2R1, T2R4, T2R10, T2R38 and T2R49 in the highly metastatic breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231, poorly metastatic cell line MCF-7, and non-cancerous mammary epithelial cell line MCF-10A. Among the 5 T2Rs analyzed by qPCR and flow cytometry, T2R4 is expressed at 40-70% in mammary epithelial cells in comparison to commonly used breast cancer marker proteins, estrogen receptor and E-cadherin. Interestingly, the expression of T2R4 was downregulated in breast cancer cells. An increase in intracellular calcium mobilization was observed after the application of bitter agonists, quinine, dextromethorphan, and phenylthiocarbamide that are specific for some of the 5 T2Rs. This suggests that the endogenous T2Rs expressed in these cells are functional. Taken together, our novel findings suggest that T2Rs are differentially expressed in mammary epithelial cells, with some T2Rs downregulated in breast cancer cells.

KEYWORDS:

Bitter taste receptors (T2Rs); Breast cancer; G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs); T2R expression

PMID:
24613843
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.02.140
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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