Expression of TAS2R14 in the intestinal endocrine cells of non-human primates



Recent studies have demonstrated that genes related to bitter taste receptors (TAS2Rs) on various chromosomes are expressed in extra-oral organs of various animals. The bitter taste receptor TAS2R14 is conserved among primate species and shows broad ligand sensitivity. Mice have a number of orthologues to primate TAS2R14 located in tandem on chromosome 16; however, their expression patterns are not unique.


We characterized the expression of TAS2R14 in various cell types in the intestines of the rhesus macaque and evaluated its role in hormone production in the gut.


TAS2R14 expression was examined in the intestines of rhesus macaques, a common non-human primate model, by RT-qPCR and immunohistochemical staining.


Mean expression levels of TAS2R14 in the duodenum, ileum, and colon were similar to each other and were lower than those in circumvallate papillae. An immunohistochemical analysis revealed TAS2R14 immunoreactivity in enteroendocrine cells positive for cholecystokinin, serotonin, and the G protein GNAT3.


These results suggest that primate TAS2R14 is broadly expressed in the intestine, mainly in enteroendocrine cells, and promotes gut hormone secretion in response to bitter stimuli.

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Bitter taste receptor protein


Bitter taste receptor gene in primates


Bitter taste receptor gene in rodents



GI tract:

Gastrointestinal tract


Enteroendocrine cell








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The authors would like to thank Drs. Yoshiro Ishimaru, Takumi Misaka, and Keiko Abe and Hiroaki Matsunami for providing HEK293T cells. We also wish to express our gratitude to the members of the molecular biology section of the Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University. This work was supported by the Cooperative Research Program of the Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University (R2-A1). This research was funded by Grants-in-Aid from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (KAKENHI 19K21586 and 18H04005 to H.I.), and research grants from the Kobayashi International Scholarship Foundation, the Terumo Foundation for Life Sciences and Arts, the Umami Manufacturers Association of Japan, and the JSPS and DG-RSTHE or NSF under the Japan-Indonesia or Korea Research Cooperative Program and Core-to-Core Program to H.I.

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Correspondence to Hiroo Imai or Katsuyoshi Masuda.

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Hayashi, M., Inaba, A., Hakukawa, M. et al. Expression of TAS2R14 in the intestinal endocrine cells of non-human primates. Genes Genom 43, 259–267 (2021).

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  • TAS2R14
  • Enteroendocrine
  • CCK
  • 5-HT
  • Non-human primates