Bitter taste receptors (Tas2Rs) are a subfamily of G-protein coupled receptors expressed not only in the oral cavity but also in several extra-oral tissues and disease states. Several natural bitter compounds from plants, such as bitter melon extract and noscapine, have displayed anti-cancer effects against various cancer types. In this study, we examined the prevalence of Tas2R subtype expression in several epithelial ovarian or prostate cancer cell lines, and the functionality of Tas2R14 was determined. qPCR analysis of five TAS2Rs demonstrated that mRNA expression often varies greatly in cancer cells in comparison to normal tissue. Using receptor-specific siRNAs, we also demonstrated that noscapine stimulation of ovarian cancer cells increased apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells in a receptor-dependent, but ROS-independent manner. This study furthers our understanding of the function of Tas2Rs in ovarian cancer by demonstrating that their activation has an impact on cell survival.
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This work was supported by Grant funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) (Grant RGPIN-355310-2013) and seed funding from the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute (BHCRI) (to DJD), a Bridge Grant from BHCRI (to GD), and a CancerCare Manitoba Foundation grant (to MWN). LTPM is supported through a Canadian Graduate Scholarship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and is a trainee in the Cancer Research Training Program of the BHCRI, with funds provided by Motorcycle Ride for Dad—Nova Scotia Chapter. JS was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the BHCRI.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
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Martin, L.T.P., Nachtigal, M.W., Selman, T. et al. Bitter taste receptors are expressed in human epithelial ovarian and prostate cancers cells and noscapine stimulation impacts cell survival. Mol Cell Biochem 454, 203–214 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11010-018-3464-z
- Bitter taste receptor
- Epithelial ovarian cancer
- Prostate cancer
- G protein coupled receptor