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SNP on CD36 Linked to Fat Gustatory Perception

Last Updated: January 16, 2012.

Variation at a single nuclear polymorphism in the CD36 gene is associated with fat gustatory perception, with lower oral detection thresholds for oleic acid and triolein for obese individuals homozygous for the G-allele, according to a study published online Dec. 31 in the Journal of Lipid Research.

MONDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Variation at a single nuclear polymorphism (SNP) in the CD36 gene is associated with fat gustatory perception, with lower oral detection thresholds for oleic acid and triolein for obese individuals homozygous for the G-allele, according to a study published online Dec. 31 in the Journal of Lipid Research.

Marta Yanina Pepino, Ph.D., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues investigated the association between a common SNP (rs1761667) in the CD36 gene and fat orosensory sensitivity in 21 obese subjects. Using emulsions prepared with and without orlistat, oleic acid and triolein orosensory detection thresholds were measured on two occasions.

The researchers found that individuals homozygous for the G-allele had significantly lower (eight-fold) oral detection thresholds for both oleic acid and triolein, compared with those who were homozygous for the A allele, which is linked with lower CD36 expression. Heterozygous individuals had intermediate thresholds. Detection thresholds for triolein, but not oleic acid, were increased with the addition of orlistat.

"Our findings support the existence of a taste component in orosensory perception of dietary fat in humans. We found that a genetic variant in the fatty acid translocase gene, CD36, and lipase inhibition affect oral taste sensitivity to oleic acid and triolein in obese subjects. These findings have important implications in understanding factors involved in the regulation of food intake," the authors write.

GlaxoSmithKline and Abitec Corporation provided the orlistat and triolein samples. The study was partially funded by GlaxoSmithKline.

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