TAS2R38 Genomics in Pediatric Patients with and without Obesity

(Pages: 15-19)

Gregory L. Kearns1,*, Beverly J. Spray2, Patricia A. Porter-Gill2, Grace A. Goode2,3 and Henry C. Farrar

1Departments of Medical Education and Pediatrics, TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine, Fort Worth, TX 76107; 2Arkansas Children’s Research Institute, Little Rock, AR 72202; 3School of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205 


We explored the association between obesity and both TAS2R38 genotype and DNA methylation in a pediatric population. The study consists of data from 147 children and adolescents aged 2 to 18 years. BMI was calculated from height and weight measurements and categorized as normal, overweight, or obese. DNA isolated from blood or saliva samples were genotyped for three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of the TAS2R38 gene associated with bitter taste phenotype. A chi-square analysis determined if the prevalence of bitter-tasters differed significantly between children with obese/overweight and normal BMI. A logistic regression analysis assessed the effects of bitter taste type, age, gender and ethnicity on weight category. Additionally, DNA methylation was profiled and analyzed from a sub-population of 128 children. The prevalence of TAS2R38-predicted bitter taste phenotype did not differ significantly between overweight/obese and normal participants. The logistic model yielded no significant associations between genotype-predicted bitter taste phenotype and BMI. No statistically significant differences in DNA methylation were detected between groups. Neither allelic variants of TAS2R38 nor DNA methylation was associated with obesity in children.


Obesity, Taste, Genomics, Children.