Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New findings on the effect of Epsom salt - Epsom salt receptor identified

08.04.2019

A team of scientists headed by Maik Behrens from the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich has identified the receptor responsible for the bitter taste of various salts. These include medically used Epsom salt. The discovery helps to elucidate the physiological mechanisms by which Epsom salt affects the heart or gut.

The team has now published the findings in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2019.03.139). It also includes scientists of the German Institute of Human Nutrition.

Salt with physiological effects


Model presentation of the bitter receptor TAS2R7

Dr. Antonella Di Pizio/Leibniz-LSB@TUM


Dr. habil. Maik Behrens

C. Schranner/Leibniz-LSB@TUM

Magnesium sulfate, also known as hair salt or Epsom salt, is probably the best-known bitter-tasting salt. The naturally occurring mineral is named after the British city of Epsom, where it was already extracted from spring water in 1697. Even today, it has its place in medicine, for example, to treat constipation or certain cardiac arrhythmias.

Receptor for magnesium, manganese and iron ions

Maik Behrens and his team have now succeeded, with the help of a cellular test system, in identifying a receptor that reacts to Epsom salt or to salts containing magnesium or divalent manganese and iron ions. It is the bitter receptor TAS2R7, one of the 25 different bitter receptor types that people possess.

More than just taste sensors

As gatekeepers in the mouth, bitterness sensors warn against the ingestion of potentially toxic substances. In addition to phytochemicals such as caffeine these also include drugs such as chlorphenamine (antihistamine). Another group of substances represent certain salts, which can lead to significant side effects when consumed in too high doses.

Recent studies indicate that the receptors not only act as taste sensors, but also mediate physiological effects of bitter substances. Thus, bitter receptors are found in organs such as the heart or intestine. "Interestingly, both organs respond to the supply of magnesium salts," says study leader Behrens.

An overdose of magnesium salts has been shown to lead to a drop in blood pressure, cardiac arrest, severe diarrhea and vomiting, the researcher said. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the respective physiological reactions are still not clear to date.

The researchers are convinced that the discovery of the Epsom salt receptor will help to better understand the physiological effects of minerals and to develop new therapeutics for, for example, heart disease.

Contact:
Dr. Maik Behrens
Section II, Working group Taste Systems Reception & Biosignals
Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology
at the Technical University of Munich
Tel.: +49 816171 2987
Email: m.behrens.leibniz-lsb@tum.de

Press Contact:
Dr. Gisela Olias
Press and Public Relations
Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology
at the Technical University of Munich
Tel.: +49 816171 2980
E-Mail: g.olias.leibniz-lsb@tum.de

www.leibniz-lsb.de

Background information:

Not just good for smelling and tasting –
Chemoreceptors offer approaches for the development of new drug therapies

Odor and taste receptors are found not only in the nose and mouth. Recent studies indicate that they perform other functions in the body, for example, in the immune system or the regulation of metabolism. Therefore, they could serve as starting points for computer-assisted development of new therapeutics. A review article of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM now summarizes the current data situation on this topic.

Di Pizio A, Behrens M, Krautwurst D. (2019) International Journal of Molecular Sciences, DOI: 10.3390/ijms20061402. Beyond the flavor: the potential druggability of chemosensory GPCRs

What do taste receptors in the brain do?

Taste receptors are not only good for tasting, because they are also found on cells of organs that are involved in the hormonal regulation of the body. These include the brain, the pancreas and the thyroid gland. A recent review article of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM summarizes what science has known so far about possible functions of taste receptors in the (neuro)endocrine system.

Behrens M, Meyerhof W (2019) J Neuroendocrinol, DOI: 10.1111/jne.12691. A role for key receptors in (neuro) endocrinology?

The Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (Leibniz-LSB@TUM) has a unique research profile. Its researchers combine methods of basic biomolecular research with analytical methods of bioinformatics and analytical high-performance technologies. Their goal is to decode the complex ingredient profiles from raw materials to the final food products and to elucidate their function as biological active molecules on humans. Based on their studies, the scientists develop products, which are as healthy as they are tasty. These foods will help to provide a sustainable and sufficient stream of food for future generations. In addition, the new scientific findings will be used to develop personalized nutritional concepts that, for example, help people with food intolerance without compromising quality of life and endangering their health.

The Leibniz LSB@TUM is a member of the Leibniz Association, which connects 95 independent research institutions. Their orientation ranges from the natural sciences, engineering and environmental sciences through economics, spatial and social sciences to the humanities. Leibniz Institutes devote themselves to social, economic and ecological issues. They conduct knowledge-oriented and application-oriented research, also in the overlapping Leibniz research networks, are or maintain scientific infrastructures and offer research-based services. The Leibniz Association focuses on knowledge transfer, especially with the Leibniz Research Museums. It advises and informs politics, science, business and the public. Leibniz institutions maintain close cooperation with universities - among others, in the form of the Leibniz Science Campuses, industry and other partners in Germany and abroad. They are subject to a transparent and independent review process. Due to their national significance, the federal government and the federal states jointly fund the institutes of the Leibniz Association. The Leibniz Institutes employ around 19,100 people, including 9,900 scientists. The entire budget of all the institutes is more than 1.9 billion euros.

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Dr. Maik Behrens
Section II, Working group Taste Systems Reception & Biosignals
Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology
at the Technical University of Munich
Tel.: +49 816171 2987
Email: m.behrens.leibniz-lsb@tum.de

Originalpublikation:

Behrens M, Redel U, Blank K, Meyerhof W (2019) Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2019.03.139. The human bitter taste receptor TAS2R7 facilitates the detection of bitter salts

Dr. Gisela Olias | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
https://www.leibniz-lsb.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers discover vaccine to strengthen the immune system of plants
24.01.2020 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht Brain-cell helpers powered by norepinephrine during fear-memory formation
24.01.2020 | RIKEN

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Integrate Micro Chips for electronic Skin

Researchers from Dresden and Osaka present the first fully integrated flexible electronics made of magnetic sensors and organic circuits which opens the path towards the development of electronic skin.

Human skin is a fascinating and multifunctional organ with unique properties originating from its flexible and compliant nature. It allows for interfacing with...

Im Focus: Dresden researchers discover resistance mechanism in aggressive cancer

Protease blocks guardian function against uncontrolled cell division

Researchers of the Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital Dresden at the National Center for Tumor Diseases Dresden (NCT/UCC), together with an international...

Im Focus: New roles found for Huntington's disease protein

Crucial role in synapse formation could be new avenue toward treatment

A Duke University research team has identified a new function of a gene called huntingtin, a mutation of which underlies the progressive neurodegenerative...

Im Focus: A new look at 'strange metals'

For years, a new synthesis method has been developed at TU Wien (Vienna) to unlock the secrets of "strange metals". Now a breakthrough has been achieved. The results have been published in "Science".

Superconductors allow electrical current to flow without any resistance - but only below a certain critical temperature. Many materials have to be cooled down...

Im Focus: Programmable nests for cells

KIT researchers develop novel composites of DNA, silica particles, and carbon nanotubes -- Properties can be tailored to various applications

Using DNA, smallest silica particles, and carbon nanotubes, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed novel programmable materials....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

„Advanced Battery Power“- Conference, Contributions are welcome!

07.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers discover vaccine to strengthen the immune system of plants

24.01.2020 | Life Sciences

Brain-cell helpers powered by norepinephrine during fear-memory formation

24.01.2020 | Life Sciences

Engineered capillaries model traffic in tiny blood vessels

24.01.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>