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Title:
HUMAN SALTY TASTE RECEPTOR AND METHODS OF MODULATING SALTY TASTE PERCEPTION
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Methods for identifying modulators of the epithelial sodium ion channel and for identifying modulators of salty taste perception are described. Also featured are isolated human salty taste receptors, artificial lipid bilayers comprising an epithelial sodium ion channels, and kits for practicing the claimed methods.


Inventors:
Brand, Joseph G. (Wayne, PA, US)
Huque, Taufiqul (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Application Number:
13/008330
Publication Date:
09/29/2011
Filing Date:
01/18/2011
Assignee:
MONELL CHEMICAL SENSES CENTER (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
426/649, 435/29, 506/7, 530/327, 544/407, 564/235
International Classes:
A61K49/00; A23L1/237; C07C279/26; C07D241/26; C07K7/06; C12Q1/02; C40B30/00
View Patent Images:
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A method for identifying modulators of epithelial sodium ion channels, comprising: assembling at least one epithelial sodium ion channel in an artificial lipid membrane, wherein the epithelial sodium ion channel comprises at least three subunits, wherein the subunits are independently an alpha subunit, a beta subunit, a gamma subunit, a delta subunit or an epsilon subunit; contacting the ion channel with a test compound in the presence of sodium or lithium; and determining a modulation of the biological activity of the epithelial sodium ion channel in the presence of the test compound relative to the biological activity of the epithelial sodium ion channel in the absence of the test compound.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the epithelial ion channel comprises at least one delta subunit, at least one beta subunit, and at least one gamma subunit.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the epithelial ion channel comprises at least one alpha subunit, at least one beta subunit, at least one delta, and at least one gamma subunit.

4. The method of claim 3, further comprising at least one epsilon subunit.

5. The method of claim 1, further comprising contacting the epithelial sodium ion channel with an epithelial sodium ion channel antagonist.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the artificial lipid membrane is a micelle, liposome, or lipid bilayer.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein at least two subunits of an epithelial sodium ion channel are present in the lipid membrane at differing ratios relative to each other.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the epithelial sodium ion channel comprises at least one biological activity of a functional human salty taste receptor.

9. A method according to claim 1, adapted for high throughput screening.

10. An artificial lipid membrane comprising at least one type of phospholipid and an epithelial sodium ion channel or specific ratios of epithelial sodium ion channel subunits, wherein the subunits are independently an alpha subunit, a beta subunit, a gamma subunit, a delta subunit, or an epsilon subunit.

11. The artificial lipid membrane of claim 10, wherein the membrane is a micelle, liposome, or lipid bilayer.

12. The artificial lipid membrane of claim 10, comprising at least one epithelial sodium ion channel comprising at least one alpha subunit, at least one beta subunit, at least one delta subunit, and at least one gamma subunit.

13. The artificial lipid membrane of claim 12, further comprising at least one epsilon subunit.

14. The artificial lipid membrane of claim 10, comprising at least one epithelial sodium channel comprising at least one delta subunit, at least one beta subunit, and at least one gamma subunit.

15. A method for preparing the artificial lipid membrane of claim 10, comprising: admixing a micelle or liposome comprising at least one phospholipid with an epithelial sodium ion channel or specific ratios of epithelial sodium ion channel subunits, wherein the epithelial sodium ion channel or epithelial sodium ion channel subunits are dissolved in a suitable aqueous buffer comprising at least one surfactant; incubating said micelle or liposome with the epithelial sodium ion channel or epithelial sodium ion channel subunit for a sufficient amount of time; and removing the at least one surfactant.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising reconstituting the proteo-liposome into a planar lipid bilayer.

17. A method for identifying modulators of salty taste perception, comprising: assembling at least one epithelial sodium ion channel in an artificial lipid membrane, wherein the epithelial sodium ion channel comprises at least one beta subunit, at least one gamma subunit, and at least one delta subunit; contacting the ion channel with a test compound in the presence of sodium or lithium; determining a modulation of the biological activity of the epithelial sodium ion channel in the presence of the test compound relative to the biological activity of the epithelial sodium ion channel in the absence of the test compound; and administering the test compound to a subject and determining a modulation of salty taste perception in the subject relative to the level of salty taste perception in the subject in the absence of the test compound.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein the delta subunit comprises the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:12.

19. The method of claim 17 further comprising the step of screening positive candidate compounds in a cell-based assay for epithelial sodium channel activity.

20. An isolated human salty taste receptor comprising at least one beta polypeptide subunit, at least one gamma polypeptide subunit and at least one delta polypeptide subunit, wherein said delta polypeptide subunit comprises the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:12.

21. The isolated human salty taste receptor of claim 20 wherein said delta polypeptide subunit has the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:9.

22. A kit for identifying modulators of the human salty taste receptor comprising: at least one phospholipid; substantially purified epithelial sodium ion channel subunits comprising delta subunits, beta subunits, and gamma subunits; optionally comprising an epithelial sodium ion channel modulator, sodium or lithium; and instructions for using the kit in a method for identifying modulators of the human salty taste receptor.

23. The kit of claim 22 wherein the subunits are admixed in known ratios in a single container.

24. The kit of claim 22 wherein at least two subunits are present at differing ratios relative to each other.

25. The kit of claim 22, wherein the modulator is amiloride, phenamil, benzamil, chlorhexidine or a source of guanidinium ion or an organic polyamine.

26. A compound identified by the method of claim 1, wherein the compound activates the epithelial sodium ion channel and induces a salty taste perception when administered to the mouth of a subject, provided that the compound is not sodium or lithium.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/875,200, filed Oct. 19, 2007, which claims benefit to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/853,290 filed Oct. 19, 2006, the entire contents of which are incorporated by reference herein, in their entirety and for all purposes.

FIELD

The invention relates generally to the field of cell biology. More specifically, the invention relates to sodium ion channels and their role in the recognition of salty taste in humans.

BACKGROUND

Various publications, including patents, published applications, technical articles and scholarly articles are cited throughout the specification. Each of these cited publications is incorporated by reference herein, in its entirety and for all purposes.

Sodium plays an important role in the body's metabolism, including, among other things, electrical impulse transmission and fluid and electrolyte homeostasis. In addition, sodium contributes to the development and stability of flavor in the various foods ingested by animals, particularly by humans. The sodium ion can inhibit the bitter taste of some stimuli, thereby modifying the taste of food. This inhibitory effect of sodium on bitter taste does not depend on the saltiness of the compound containing the sodium ion, but rather depends on the concentration of the sodium ion.

Excess intake of sodium, however, has been implicated in various disease states, including gastric cancer and hypertension. Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Because of the potential negative health effects of excess sodium consumption, the United States FDA recommends that adults limit their intake to less than 2400 milligrams of sodium per day. Nevertheless, Americans generally far exceed this recommended allowance. As such, various medical and scientific groups have recommended drastic reductions in sodium intake.

To further the goal of reduced sodium intake, numerous salty taste mimics and salty taste enhancers have been developed. In general, such mimics have not proven commercially viable as they lack the clean saltiness of sodium chloride, and most do not affect food flavor as sodium salt does.

The dearth of mimics of salty taste, commonly known as salt substitutes, reflects the extreme structural specificity of the taste receptor. As far is known, only sodium chloride (NaCl) and lithium chloride (LiCl) impart a true salty taste. Both heavier anions paired with Na and Li, and heavier cations paired with Cl tend to be bitter. The cation specificity suggests an ion channel, while the chloride effects suggests paracellular shunts. In addition, the concentration at which NaCl imparts a salty taste is above 50 mM, a concentration on the higher end of receptor processes. These two observations—the specificity for Na and Li, and the effective concentration range—are believed to be the key to discovering the mechanism of salty taste in humans.

Over the past two decades, numerous studies, both qualitative and quantitative, of salt-induced changes in neural activity in the presence or absence of specific inhibitors and enhancers have led to the supposition that an epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) acts as the primary receptor for saltiness (Brand et al. (1985) Brain Res. 334:207-14; Feigin et al. (1994) Am. J. Physiol. 266(Cell Physiol):C1165-72; and, Brelin et al. (2006) Adv. Otorhinolaryngol. 63:152-90). While the ENaC serves as the salt receptor for many experimental animals (Halpern, BP (1998) Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 23(1):5-47), no conclusive evidence has emerged that the same holds true for human beings. Notably, the inability of amiloride to inhibit sodium-induced salty taste response in humans suggests that ENaCs are not involved in human salty taste recognition, at least to the extent observed in other animals.

Because of this discrepancy between human and animal models, the transduction mechanisms underlying the perception of salty taste in humans remain under investigation. Sufficient activation of the nerve eventually evokes the sensation of saltiness in the higher cortical areas (Schoenfeld, Mass. et al. (2004) Neuroscience. 127:347-53).

Because of the robust response shown to amiloride by taste cells of many rodents, the ENaCs in these cells are assumed to be located primarily at the apical membrane, above the level of the tight junctions. This location makes them susceptible to the action of drugs such as amiloride. It is assumed that amiloride cannot pass the tight junctions. Augmenting the direct mechanism at the apical membrane is a paracellular shunt pathway into the basolateral area of taste buds below the tight junction level (Mierson, S et al. (1996) J. Neurophysiol. 76:1297-309). Since sodium can pass the tight junctions, the paracellular mechanism should result in an amiloride insensitive salty taste response. The human salty response may be amiloride-insensitive because the vast majority of taste cell ENaCs are located below these tight junctions. Other mechanisms for salt perception may exist. These could be entirely different from the ENaC, or an alternative manifestation of the ENaC due to sodium load or hormonal influences on ENaC expression or composition.

ENaCs comprise a family of cation channel proteins mediating sodium permeation in epithelia (Mano, I et al. (1999) Bioessays 21:568-78). Expression cloning originally demonstrated that there are three homologous genes, each encoding one of the three subunits of the channel—i.e., alpha (α), beta (β) and gamma (γ) (Canessa, C M et al. (1994) Nature 367:463-7). Co-expression of all three subunits is essential for maximal Na+channel activity, although the alpha subunit by itself produces a small current. A fourth subunit, delta (6) was later cloned and shown to be similar to the alpha subunit both structurally and functionally, albeit with a 30-fold lower affinity for amiloride (Waldmann et al. (1995) J. Biol. Chem. 270:27411-4). This lower amiloride sensitivity is assumed to be reflected in a motif called the PreMR2 sequence. The transmembrane topology of the ENaCs comprises two hydrophobic transmembrane domains flanking a long extracellular loop, with intracellular amino and carboxyl termini. The subunit stoichiometry of the ENaCs may be species-specific and tissue-specific, since there is evidence for an α2βγ configuration in rats (Firsov et al. (1998) EMBO J. 17:344-52) and an (α)1β(1)γ(1) arrangement in humans (Staruschenko, A (2005) Biophys. J. 88:3966-75).

For improved health and wellness, there is a need to diminish sodium intake. This need must be balanced with the desire for the taste of sodium, and the ability of sodium to impart improved flavor in food. One attractive means to diminish dietary sodium without sacrificing sodium flavor is to use modulators of salty taste. Thus, there is a need to establish the definitive receptor for salty taste perception and for a means to identify modulators of salty taste perception.

SUMMARY

The invention provides an isolated human salty taste receptor comprising at least one beta polypeptide subunit, at least one gamma polypeptide subunit, and at least one delta polypeptide subunit wherein said delta polypeptide subunit comprises the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:12. In some aspects, the delta polypeptide subunit has the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:9. Also provided is an isolated human salty taste receptors comprising at least one alpha polypeptide subunit, at least one beta polypeptide subunit, at least one delta polypeptide subunit, and at least one gamma polypeptide subunit.

The invention also provides a method for identifying modulators of epithelial sodium ion channels. Such methods include assembling at least one epithelial sodium ion channel in a lipid membrane (wherein the epithelial sodium ion channel comprises at least three types of subunits, which are independently an alpha subunit, a beta subunit, a gamma subunit, a delta subunit, and an epsilon subunit); contacting the ion channel with a test compound in the presence of sodium ions or lithium ions; and determining a modulation of the biological activity of the epithelial sodium ion channel in the presence of the test compound relative to the biological activity of the epithelial sodium ion channel in the absence of the test compound. The lipid membrane is preferably an artificial membrane.

In some aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises one alpha subunit, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In other aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises one alpha subunit, one beta subunit, one gamma subunit, and one epsilon subunit. In other aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises two alpha subunits, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In further aspects the epithelial ion channel comprises three alpha subunits, three beta subunits, and three gamma subunits. Additional aspects include those wherein the epithelial ion channel comprises one delta subunit, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In other aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises two delta subunits, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In still further aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises two delta subunits, two beta subunits, and two gamma subunits. In still further aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises three delta subunits, three beta subunits, and three gamma subunits.

In the method for identifying modulators of epithelial sodium channels, the method may further include contacting the epithelial sodium ion channel with an epithelial sodium ion channel antagonist, such as, but not limited to chlorhexidine, amiloride, phenamil, benzamil or a homolog, analog, or derivative thereof.

In the method for identifying modulators of epithelial sodium channels, suitable lipid components for the membrane include at least one of phosphatidylcholine, phoshpatidylethanolamine, phostphatidylserine, phosphatidylglyine, phosphatidylinositol, sphingomyelin, cholesterol, cardiolipin, or a homolog, analog, or derivative thereof. As such the lipids may be organized as a micelle, liposome, or lipid bilayer.

In some aspects of the method for identifying modulators of epithelial sodium channels, at least two subunits of an epithelial sodium ion channel are present in the lipid membrane at differing ratios relative to each other.

In the step for determining a modulation of the biological activity of the epithelial sodium ion channel, any suitable means known in the art may be used, such as, but not limited to, voltage clamping, and/or measurement of an indicator dye. The method may be adapted for high throughput screening.

The method for identifying modulators of epithelial sodium channels thus provides compounds identified by the method that act as modulators of the epithelial sodium channels. These compounds may be formulated into compositions by admixing the compounds with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.

In a specific aspect, the invention provides a method for identifying modulators of the human salty taste receptor comprising: assembling at least one salty taste receptor in a lipid membrane, wherein the salty taste receptor comprises at least one beta subunit, at least one gamma subunit, and at least one delta subunit; contacting the ion channel with a test compound in the presence of sodium ions or lithium ions; and determining a modulation of the biological activity of the salty taste receptor in the presence of the test compound relative to the biological activity of the salty taste receptor in the absence of the test compound.

In some aspects, the human salty taste receptor comprises one alpha subunit, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In other aspects, the salty taste receptor comprises one alpha subunit, one beta subunit, one gamma subunit, and one epsilon subunit. In other aspects, the salty taste receptor comprises two alpha subunits, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In further aspects the salty taste receptor comprises three alpha subunits, three beta subunits, and three gamma subunits. Additional aspects include those wherein the salty taste receptor comprises one delta subunit, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In other aspects, the salty taste receptor comprises two delta subunits, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In still further aspects, the salty taste receptor comprises two delta subunits, two beta subunits, and two gamma subunits. In still further aspects, the salty taste receptor comprises three delta subunits, three beta subunits, and three gamma subunits.

In the method for identifying modulators of the human salty taste receptor, the delta subunit preferably comprises the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:12. In some aspects, the delta receptor comprises the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:9. In the method for identifying modulators of the human salty taste receptor, the method may further comprise contacting the epithelial sodium ion channel with an epithelial sodium ion channel antagonist, such as, but not limited to, chlorhexidine, amiloride, phenamil, benzamil or a homolog, analog, or derivative thereof.

In the method for identifying modulators of the human salty taste receptor, the lipid membrane may comprise at least one of phosphatidylcholine, phoshpatidylethanolamine, phostphatidylserine, phosphatidylglyine, phosphatidylinositol, sphingomyelin, cholesterol, cardiolipin, or a homolog, analog, or derivative thereof. The lipids may be organized as a liposome or lipid bilayer.

In some aspects of the method for identifying modulators of the human salty taste receptor, at least two subunits of an epithelial sodium ion channel are present in the lipid membrane at differing ratios relative to each other. The channels in the membrane preferably comprise at least one biological activity of a functional human salty taste receptor.

In the step for determining a modulation of the biological activity of the salty taste receptor, any suitable means known in the art may be used, such as, but not limited to voltage clamping, and/or measurement of an indicator dye. The method may be adapted for high throughput screening.

Compounds that modulate human salty taste perception are identified by the method of the invention and may include, for example, salty taste mimics, enhancers, modifiers, and inhibitors. The invention thus provides modulators of human salty taste perception which may further be used in compositions by admixing the compounds with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, or foods and beverages to modulate the salty taste perception of the food or beverage.

The invention also provides an artificial lipid membrane comprising at least one type of phospholipid and an epithelial sodium ion channel or specific ratios of epithelial sodium ion channel subunits wherein the subunits are selected from the group consisting of alpha subunits, beta subunits, gamma subunits, delta subunits, and epsilon subunits.

The artificial lipid membrane may comprise at least one phospholipid including phosphatidylcholine, phoshpatidylethanolamine, phostphatidylserine, phosphatidylglyine, phosphatidylinositol, sphingomyelin, cholesterol, cardiolipin, or a homolog, analog, or derivative thereof. The lipid membrane may be organized, for example, as a liposome or lipid bilayer.

In some aspects, the artificial lipid membrane comprises at least one epithelial ion channel comprising one alpha subunit, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In other aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises one alpha subunit, one beta subunit, one gamma subunit, and one epsilon subunit. In other aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises two alpha subunits, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In further aspects the epithelial ion channel comprises three alpha subunits, three beta subunits, and three gamma subunits. Additional aspects include those wherein the epithelial ion channel comprises one delta subunit, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In other aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises two delta subunits, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In still further aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises two delta subunits, two beta subunits, and two gamma subunits. In still further aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises three delta subunits, three beta subunits, and three gamma subunits.

The method also provides a method for preparing such artificial lipid membrane comprising admixing a liposome comprising at least one phospholipid with an epithelial sodium ion channel or specific ratios of epithelial sodium ion channel subunits wherein the epithelial sodium ion channel or epithelial sodium ion channel subunits are dissolved in a suitable aqueous buffer comprising at least one detergent, incubating the liposome with the epithelial sodium ion channel or epithelial sodium ion channel subunit for a sufficient amount of time, and removing the at least one detergent.

The method of preparing the artificial lipid membrane may further comprise reconstituting the proteo-liposome into a planar lipid bilayer.

The invention further provides a method for identifying modulators of salty taste perception comprising: assembling at least one epithelial sodium ion channel in a lipid membrane, wherein the epithelial sodium ion channel comprises at least one of an alpha subunit, a beta subunit, a gamma subunit, a delta subunit, or an epsilon subunit; contacting the ion channel with a test compound in the presence of sodium or lithium; determining a modulation of the biological activity of the epithelial sodium ion channel in the presence of the test compound relative to the biological activity of the epithelial sodium ion channel in the absence of the test compound; and administering the test compound to a subject and determining a modulation of salty taste perception in the subject relative to the level of salty taste perception in the subject in the absence of the test compound. Preferably, the epithelial sodium ion channel comprises at least one beta subunit, at least one gamma subunit, and at least one delta subunit.

In some aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises one alpha subunit, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In other aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises one alpha subunit, one beta subunit, one gamma subunit, and one epsilon subunit. In other aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises two alpha subunits, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In further aspects the epithelial ion channel comprises three alpha subunits, three beta subunits, and three gamma subunits. Additional aspects include those wherein the epithelial ion channel comprises one delta subunit, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In other aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises two delta subunits, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In still further aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises two delta subunits, two beta subunits, and two gamma subunits. In still further aspects, the epithelial ion channel comprises three delta subunits, three beta subunits, and three gamma subunits.

In some aspects, the delta subunit comprises the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:12. In some aspects, the delta subunit comprises the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:9.

In some aspects, the subject is a human.

The method permits identification of a compound that reacts in vitro with the human salty taste receptor and which is perceived by subjects as salty. The invention thus provides such compounds which may be used in compositions by admixing the compounds with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, or foods or beverages to modulate the salty taste perception of the food or beverage. Preferably, the compounds allow perception of salty taste, but which have a reduced effect on blood pressure as compared to salt and which have no untoward effect on the subject.

In some aspects, the compounds can be additionally screened by cell based assays for epithelial sodium channel activity.

The invention also provides kits for identifying modulators of the human salty taste receptor comprising at least one form of phospholipid; substantially purified epithelial sodium ion channel subunits comprising alpha subunits, delta subunits, beta subunits, gamma subunits, or epsilon subunits; and optionally comprising an epithelial sodium ion channel modulator, sodium or lithium, and instructions for using the kit in a method for identifying modulators of the human salty taste receptor.

The instructions may provide, for example, directions to admix the subunits in specific ratios to achieve various forms of the epithelial sodium ion channel of interest. In some aspects, at least two subunits are added to be present at differing ratios relative to each other.

The kit may contain a modulator such as, but not limited to amiloride, phenamil, benzamil, chlorhexidine, or a source of guanidinium ion.

The invention also provides a method of modulating salty taste perception (either by stimulating salty taste perception or inhibiting salty taste perception) comprising contacting a human salty taste receptor with a compound that stimulates salty taste perception wherein the salty taste receptor comprises at least one beta polypeptide subunit, at least one gamma polypeptide subunit, and at least one delta polypeptide subunit wherein said delta polypeptide subunit comprises the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:12, and wherein said compound specifically interacts with said delta subunit.

In some aspects, the human salty taste receptor comprises one alpha subunit, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In other aspects, the salty taste receptor comprises one alpha subunit, one beta subunit, one gamma subunit, and one epsilon subunit. In other aspects, the salty taste receptor comprises two alpha subunits, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In further aspects the salty taste receptor comprises three alpha subunits, three beta subunits, and three gamma subunits. Additional aspects include those wherein the salty taste receptor comprises one delta subunit, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In other aspects, the salty taste receptor comprises two delta subunits, one beta subunit, and one gamma subunit. In still further aspects, the salty taste receptor comprises two delta subunits, two beta subunits, and two gamma subunits. In still further aspects, the salty taste receptor comprises three delta subunits, three beta subunits, and three gamma subunits.

In some aspects the compound specifically interacts a portion of the delta subunit containing the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:12. In some aspects, the compound binds to the portion of the delta subunit containing the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:12.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a human taste bud stained by an ATPase histochemical procedure.

FIG. 2 shows antibody detection of the second messenger enzyme, phospholipase Cbeta2 (PLCbeta2) using an immunohistochemical procedure on human taste cells. Panel A shows the subset of cells labeled by the antibody. Panel B is a contrast image of the taste bud and of the surrounding fungiform papillae.

FIGS. 3 (a, b, c , d) shows an alignment of ENaC delta subunit sequenced from cDNA of ten individuals (labeled DENACA, DENACD, DENACE, DENACG, DENACH, DENACI, DENACJ, DENACT, DENACTV and DENACW, respectively), as compared with the GeneBank sequence of the top row (DENACGB). DENACA, DENACD, DENACE, DENACG, DENACH, DENACI, DENACJ, DENACT, DENACTV and DENACW correspond to SEQ ID NO:17, SEQ ID NO:18, SEQ ID NO:19, SEQ ID NO:20, SEQ ID NO:21, SEQ ID NO:22, SEQ ID NO:23, SEQ ID NO:24, SEQ ID NO:25, and SEQ ID NO:26, respectively.

FIG. 4 shows amiloride inhibition of ENaC of different composition. ENaC composed of human delta, beta, gamma was less sensitive to amiloride than that composed of human alpha, beta, gamma.

FIG. 5 shows immuno-labeling of a subset of cells in a human taste bud.

FIG. 6 shows the capture of an isolated human taste bud cell by a micro-pipette from an aqueous suspension. The cell thus captured is placed in an RNA-preserving medium for further study.

FIG. 7 shows an early quantitative RT-PCR of a single cell tracing the amplification of partial transcripts of the ENaC subunits, alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. The result suggests a cell containing equal copies of delta, beta, and gamma, with the alpha transcript showing as a genomic control.

FIG. 8 (a, b, c , d) shows an alignment of ENaC gamma subunit sequenced from cDNA of ten individuals (labeled GENACA, GENACB, GENACD, GENACE, GENACG, GENACH, GENACJ, GENACT, GENACV, and GENACW, respectively) compared with the GeneBank sequence of the top row (GENACGB). GENACA, GENACB, GENACD, GENACE, GENACG, GENACH, GENACJ, GENACT, GENACV, and GENACW correspond to SEQ ID NO:27, SEQ ID NO:28, SEQ ID NO:29, SEQ ID NO:30, SEQ ID NO:31, SEQ ID NO:32, SEQ ID NO:33, SEQ ID NO:34, SEQ ID NO:35, and SEQ ID NO:36, respectively.

FIG. 9 shows single channel recording of the activity of the catfish putative taste receptor for L-arginine in planar lipid bilayers. Proteoliposomes containing purified receptor protein from catfish taste epithelium are fused to planar lipid bilayers. Control records (trace shown in part A) were obtained after addition of proteolipisomes to the membrane bathing solution before addition of L-Arg. The addition of 10 μM L-Arg to the cis-side of the bilayer evoked regular periodic channel activity (trace shown in panel B, including the inset that shows the current record at an expanded scale). After several minutes of single channel recording, 100 μM D-Arg was added to the cis-side (trace shown in panel C) and activity ceased. Transmembrane potential was −100 mV. Traces shown in all panels are continuous records of that specific condition.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

It is to be understood that this invention is not limited to particular methods, reagents, compounds, compositions, or biological systems, which can, of course, vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular aspects only, and is not intended to be limiting.

Various terms relating to the methods and other aspects of the present invention are used throughout the specification and claims. Such terms are to be given their ordinary meaning in the art unless otherwise indicated. Other specifically defined terms are to be construed in a manner consistent with the definition provided herein.

As used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural referents unless the content clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to “a cell” includes a combination of two or more cells, and the like.

The term “about” as used herein when referring to a measurable value such as an amount, a temporal duration, and the like, is meant to encompass variations of ±20% or ±10%, more preferably ±5%, even more preferably ±1%, and still more preferably ±0.1% from the specified value, as such variations are appropriate to perform the disclosed methods.

As used herein the “Epithelial Sodium Channel” or, as abbreviated, “ENaC,” refers to a multisubunit protein that is responsible for flow of or transport of sodium ions across specific epithelium or cell membranes. ENaCs are generally composed of multiple subunits, generally α, β, γ subunits. There are also δ and ε subunits which may be in some ENaCs in specific tissues. The “salty taste receptor” as discovered herein, is a species of ENaC that is localized in taste cells and in one aspect is composed of β, γ, and δ subunits.

As used herein, “test compound” refers to any purified molecule, substantially purified molecule, molecules that are one or more components of a mixture of compounds, or a mixture of a compound with any other material that can be analyzed using the methods of the present invention. Test compounds can be organic or inorganic chemicals, or biomolecules, and all fragments, analogs, homologs, conjugates, and derivatives thereof. Biomolecules include proteins, polypeptides, nucleic acids, lipids, monosaccharides, polysaccharides, and all fragments, analogs, homologs, conjugates, and derivatives thereof. Test compounds can be of natural or synthetic origin, and can be isolated or purified from their naturally occurring sources, or can be synthesized de novo. Test compounds can be defined in terms of structure or composition, or can be undefined. The compound can be an isolated product of unknown structure, a mixture of several known products, or an undefined composition comprising one or more compounds. Examples of undefined compositions include cell and tissue extracts, growth medium in which prokaryotic, eukaryotic, and archaebacterial cells have been cultured, fermentation broths, protein expression libraries, and the like.

As used herein, the terms “modulate” means any change, increase, or decrease in the amount, quality, or effect of a particular activity or protein. “Modulators” refer to any inhibitory or activating molecules identified using in vitro and in vivo assays for, e.g., agonists, antagonists, and their homologs, including fragments, variants, and mimetics, as defined herein, that exert substantially the same biological activity as the molecule “Inhibitors” or “antagonists” are modulating compounds that reduce, decrease, block, prevent, delay activation, inactivate, desensitize, or downregulate the biological activity or expression of a molecule or pathway of interest. “Inducers,” “activators,” or “agonists” are modulating compounds that increase, induce, stimulate, open, activate, facilitate, enhance activation, sensitize, or upregulate a molecule or pathway of interest. In some preferred aspects of the invention, the level of inhibition or upregulation of the expression or biological activity of a molecule or pathway of interest refers to a decrease (inhibition or downregulation) or increase (upregulation) of greater than from about 50% to about 99%, and more specifically, about 50%, 51%, 52%, 53%, 54%, 55%, 56%, 57%, 58%, 59%, 60%, 61%, 62%, 63%, 64%, 65%, 66%, 67%, 68%, 69% 70%, 71%, 72%, 73%, 74%, 75%, 76%, 77%, 78%, 79%, 80%, 81%, 82%, 83%, 84%, 85%, 86%, 87%, 88%, 89%, 90%, 91%, 92%, 93%, 94%, 95%, 96%, 97%, 98%, 99%, or more. The inhibition or upregulation may be direct, i.e., operate on the molecule or pathway of interest itself, or indirect, i.e., operate on a molecule or pathway that affects the molecule or pathway of interest.

“Pharmaceutically acceptable carrier” refers to a medium that does not interfere with the effectiveness of the biological activity of the active ingredient(s) of a composition, and is not toxic to the subject to which it is administered.

“Ct” or “threshold cycle” refers to the PCR cycle in which a noticeable increase in reporter fluorescence above a baseline signal is initially detected.

“ΔCt” refers to the difference between the Ct of a sample assay and the Ct of a control sample. Thus, ΔCt=Ct(target)−Ct(control).

“ΔΔCt” refers to the difference between the average ΔCt value of a target sample and the average ΔCt for a corresponding calibrator sample. Thus, ΔΔCt(test sample)=AvgΔCt(test sample)−AvgΔCt(calibrator sample).

“Biological activity” as used herein refers to a measurable function of an ENaC, including but not limited to, maintenance of a sodium gradient across the membrane, changes in ion flux, changes in membrane potential, current amplitude, voltage gating, sensitivity to chlorhexidine, amiloride, or its analogs, stimulation by bretylium, novobiocin, or guanidinium ions, binding to subunit-specific monoclonal antibodies, and the like.

The present invention is based on the discovery that the human salty taste receptor is an epithelial sodium ion channel. It is thus an object of the present invention to use the precise molar ratios of the ENaC subunits and to reconstitute the ENaCs in a lipid bilayer in order to identify compounds that modulate the biological activity of the ENaCs. In particular it is an object of the present invention to use the precise molar ratios of the salty taste receptor subunits to reconstitute the salty taste receptor in the a lipid bilayer in order to identify compounds that modulate the biological activity of the salty taste receptor and to identify compounds that modulate salty taste perception in human beings. Without intending to be limited to any particular theory or mechanism of action, it is believed that a passive influx of sodium ions through epithelial sodium channels in certain taste receptor cells causes a change in intracellular ion balance leading to a depolarization, ultimately resulting in neurotransmitter release, which in turn produces a perception of salty taste.

In one aspect, the invention provides assays to identify compounds that bind and/or modulate the human salty taste receptor. The methods comprise assembling at least one epithelial sodium ion channel in a lipid membrane, wherein the epithelial sodium ion channel comprises an alpha, beta, gamma, or delta subunit, contacting the at least one ion channel with a test compound in the presence of sodium or lithium, and determining a modulation of the biological activity of the at least one epithelial sodium ion channel in the presence of the test compound relative to the biological activity of the at least one subunit in the absence of the test compound.

Where the biological activity of the sample containing the test compound is higher than the activity in the sample lacking the test compound, the compound is an agonist. If the activity of the sample containing the test compound is lower than the activity in the sample lacking the test compound, the compound is an antagonist.

Epithelial sodium ion channels are heteromultimeric complexes that are comprised of different subunits. Various subunits of ENaC have been identified, and include, without limitation, the alpha subunit, the beta subunit, the gamma subunit, the delta subunit, and the epsilon subunit. The ENaC subunits may derived from any species, however, mammalian ENaC subunits are preferred and the most preferred species is human. Examples of nucleic acid sequences encoding human ENaC subunits and the deduced amino acid sequences are provided herein. Other subunits with amino acid sequences that are substantially homologous or which represent isoforms of the subunit proteins may be used in practicing the invention. Amino acid sequences that are “substantially homologous” are at least protein sequences that are from about 80% to about 100% identical to the sequence provided herein for the subunit sequence. More preferably, the sequences are about 85% to about 100% identical. Most preferably, the sequences are about 90%, 91%, 92%, 93%, 94%, 95%, 96%, 97%, 98%, 99%, or 100% identical to the reference sequence provided herein for the subunit.

Representative nucleotide sequences encoding human alpha subunit, human beta subunit, human gamma subunit, and human delta subunit are provided as SEQ ID NO:1, SEQ ID NO:3, SEQ ID NO:5, and SEQ ID NO:7, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequences for human alpha subunit, human beta subunit, human gamma subunit, and human delta subunit are provided as SEQ ID NO:2, SEQ ID NO:4, SEQ ID NO:6, and SEQ ID NO:8, respectively. In a preferred aspect for the salty taste receptor, the delta subunit comprises a cysteine at position 532 with respect to SEQ ID NO:8. The delta receptor with Cys532 is shown in SEQ ID NO:9. Such substitution may arise due to a alteration in the triplet codon from tac to tgc (with respect to that shown in SEQ ID NO:7) and results in a change from tyrosine (Tyr) to cysteine (Cys).

In some aspects, the ENaC is comprised of at least one alpha subunit, at least one beta subunit, and at least one gamma subunit (e.g., (α)1(β)1(γ)1). In other aspects, the ENaC is comprised of at least one alpha subunit, at least one beta subunit, at least one gamma subunit, and at least one delta subunit. In other aspects, the ENaC is composed of two alpha subunits, one beta subunit, one gamma subunit (α2βγ). In other aspects, the ENaC is composed of three alpha subunits, three beta subunits, and three gamma subunits ((α)3(β)3(γ)3). In another aspect, the ENaC comprises an epsilon subunit and at least one other subunit such as an alpha subunit, beta subunit, delta subunit, gamma subunit, or combinations thereof. In still other aspects the ENaC comprises a plurality of beta subunits. In a preferred aspect, the ENaC is comprised of at least one beta subunit, at least one gamma subunit, and at least one delta subunit (the salty taste receptor). The most preferred aspect is an ENaC comprising at least one beta, at least one gamma, and at least one delta subunit (e.g., (β)1(γ)1)(δ)1 in which the delta subunit contains Cys532.

The various subunits can be present in the ENaC in different ratios relative to other subunits. The observed variation may relate to which tissue the particular ENaC of interest is expressed in. For example, but not by way of limitation, an ENaC can be comprised of two alpha, one beta, and one gamma subunit. Thus, in certain aspects of the invention, the ENaC assembled into a lipid membrane is comprised of at least two subunits that are present in different ratios relative to the other subunits. In other aspects, the ENaC is comprised of at least two subunits that are present in the same ratio relative to the other subunits. The ratios of the ENaC subunits may also vary depending on the tissue in which the ENaCs of interest are expressed. Further, there may be important sequence variability in the form of each subunit expressed in various tissues. For example, but not by way of limitation, the delta subunit of ENaC expressed in the salty taste receptor preferably has a cysteine in the putative amiloride binding site of delta at position 532 of SEQ ID NO:8 (which encodes human delta from kidney). Human kidney delta has a tyrosine at this position. Thus, when expressing a human salty taste receptor, it is preferred to use a delta with the putative amiloride binding site of MGSLCSLWFGA (SEQ ID NO:12) which includes CYS532. As this motif is at least a putative site for amiloride binding, other compounds that modulate the human salty taste receptor may also bind to this site.

In certain aspects of the invention, the lipid membranes produced with the ENaC subunits in them contain ENaC subunits that form the salty taste receptor. These salty taste receptors include at least one beta, at least one gamma, and at least one delta subunit. In preferred aspects, the delta subunit comprises Cys532. In other aspects, the ENaC contains subunits selected from alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and epsilon. In some aspects, the ENaC is composed of at least one alpha, at least one beta, and at least one gamma. In other aspects, the ENaC comprises at least one epsilon subunit.

The ENaC or the various subunits that are to be assembled into the lipid membrane can be obtained from any source suitable in the art. For example, an ENaC or any subunit thereof can be freshly isolated from any cell that expresses and ENaC, including cell lines and stable cell lines. For example, but not by way of limitation, ENaC are expressed in neural tissue, the pancreas, testes, ovaries, tongue, colon, kidneys, lungs, sweat glands, and the like. In some aspects, the ENaC for salty taste perception is isolated from the papillae of the tongue. In other aspects, an ENaC or any subunit thereof can be recombinantly expressed, purified and used to reconstitute a lipid membrane to form functional ENaCs.

In certain aspects, each subunit of the ENaC is separately expressed in a recombinant expression system such as, but not limited to bacterial cells, Spodoptera frugiperda cells, mammalian cells, and frog oocytes. The expressed protein is purified by standard biochemical means as is well-known in the art. Alternatively, expressed protein may be immunopurified using immobilized antibodies that specifically bind the ENaC subunits. Methods for purifying proteins by immunoaffinity (using antibodies that specifically bind the subunit or ENaC of interest). In other aspects, the ENaC subunits are expressed as a fusion protein with a polypeptide that allows for rapid purification and subsequent cleavage from the expressed protein. Such purification systems include, but are not limited to the pGEX system (glutathione-S-transferase fusion proteins) and multi-histidine fusion proteins (for nickel binding affinity purification). These and other types of purification are described in numerous references and are well-known to those of skill in the art. In certain preferred aspects, the ENaC subunits are expressed simultaneously using a baculovirus system and Spodoptera frugiperda cells and membrane fractions are prepared as described in Rao, U.S. et al. (2002) “Activation of Large Conductance Sodium Channels Upon Expression of Amiloride-Sensitive Sodium Channel in SF9 Insect Cells” J. Biol. Chem. 277(7):4900-4905.

In certain aspects, the subunits of the ENaC are substantially purified prior to incorporation into the membrane. As used herein, “substantially purified” refers to subunits that are at least 80% free of contaminating material (e.g., proteins, polysaccharides, and lipids) derived from the cells from which they are obtained. Preferably, the subunits are at least about 85% free of contaminating material. More preferably, the subunits are at least about 90%, 91%, 92%, 93%, 94%, 95%, 96%, 97%, 98%, 99%, or more free of contaminating material.

To recreate a particular ENaC which may be present in a tissue in the artificial membranes of the invention, the ratio of the subunits present in the ENaC may be determined by quantitative PCR. As the ratio of protein subunits of a multimeric receptor often correlates to the amount of mRNA produced in a cell for the given receptor, quantitative PCR can provide an efficient means of determining the ratio of mRNA present. Protocols for performing quantitative PCR are well known in the art. Further, given the sequences of the ENaCs provided herein and the knowledge in the art and software available for selecting PCR oligonucleotide primers that can specifically and reliably amplify messages for particular genes, one of skill in the art may easily and routinely perform quantitative PCR on tissue samples and determine the identity and ratio of the subunits that form a particular ENaC. Assays for determining the relative amounts of mRNA are well known in the art. Once the ratio of mRNA is determined, one may extrapolate the amount of protein of each subunit that must be added to the membrane to provide the appropriate stoichiometric amounts of protein to form biologically active ENaCs.

The concentration of affinity-purified protein can be determined by measuring the total nitrogen content of the protein eluate and comparing the nitrogen content with the total protein content of the eluate. Nitrogen content can be determined by any means suitable in the art, such as the well-known Kjeldahl Nitrogen Method. Protein concentration can be determined, for example, by spectrophotometry whereby a protein sample is analyzed for its absorption of light at 280 nm to derive an absorption coefficient. Any means known in the art for assessing concentration and/or purity of protein may be used.

The invention thus provides artificial membrane systems containing substantially purified ENaC protein subunits that assemble into functional ENaCs. Specifically, the invention provides artificial membrane systems containing substantially purified human salty taste receptor. These membrane systems permit analysis of ENaCs, including, but not limited to the salty taste receptor apart from contaminating proteins such as endogenous ENaCs. The invention permits the assembly of ENaCs in which the subunits are added at known ratios to permit the assembly of precise ratios of selected subunits. The lipid membrane can comprise any combination of lipids. Non-limiting examples of suitable lipids include phosphatidylcholine, phoshpatidylethanolamine, phostphatidylserine, phosphatidylglyine, phosphatidylinositol, sphingomyelin, cholesterol, cardiolipin, or a homolog, analog, or derivative thereof. Phospholipids are preferred, and can be obtained from any source suitable in the art. For example, the phospholipids can be extracted from a cell, or can be synthetic phospholipids, which are commercially available.

The lipid membrane can be in any conformation or phase, including without limitation, liposomes, a lipid bilayer, or the hexagonal phase. Liposomes and lipid bilayers are particularly preferred.

The effect of the test compound on the biological activity of the ENaC an be determined by any means suitable in the art. The test compound can be assessed at multiple concentrations. In some aspects, the test compound is assessed for its ability to modulate at least one biological activity of the ENaC. In preferred aspects, the ENaC is the salty taste receptor.

The biological activity of the ENaC can be determined by measuring the current of ENaC assembled in the lipid membrane. Voltage clamping is one preferable technique to measure ENaC current. Voltage clamp techniques are well known in the art. (Nagel, G et al. (2005) J. Physiol. 564(Pt 3):671-82; Staruschenko, A et al. (2004) J. Biol. Chem. 279:27729-34; Tong, Q et al. (2004) J. Biol. Chem. 279:22654-63; Sheng, S et al. (2000) J. Biol. Chem. 275:8572-81). The following parameters can be measured using a voltage clamp: single channel conductance, channel open time, voltage dependence, blockade induced by application of a particular compound, and activation induced by application of a particular compound. Other suitable techniques for measuring the biological activity of ENaCs include flux assays, patch clamping, voltage-sensitive dyes, and ion-sensitive dyes. Preferably, ENaC activity is measured by membrane electrophysiology or by assessing the change in fluorescence of a membrane potential dye in response to sodium or lithium, or analogs thereof (e.g., isotopes). All such assays are well known in the art. (Gill, S et al. (2003) Assay Drug Dev. Technol. 1:709-17, flux assay; Caldwell, R A et al. (2005) Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol. 288:L813-9, patch clamp). A variety of voltage sensitive dyes are commercially available, including without limitation styryl dyes, oxonol dyes, and merocyanine-rhodanine dyes. Selection of the appropriate voltage sensitive dye is within the relevant skill in the art. Similarly, a variety of ion sensitive dyes are commercially available, including single excitation dyes, dual excitation ratiometric dyes, and dual emission ratiometric dyes.

The salty taste receptor is responsive to sodium and lithium ions. However, unlike other ENaCs, the human salty taste receptor is not sensitive to amiloride. Thus, amiloride should not inhibit or stimulate the salty taste receptor ENaC. Conversely, chlorhexidine acts as an inhibitor of the salty taste response in humans, and may be used in assays to identify salty taste modifiers. One may assess specificity of stimulation of the salty taste receptor with test compounds by showing that the effect is inhibited by chlorhexidine. Moreover, test compounds that can overcome the effect of chlorhexidine (and stimulate the salty taste receptors in the membrane systems of the invention) are strong salty taste enhancers. Basic compounds containing guanidinium ions as well as certain amines act as salty taste enhancers. These include guanidine, arginine, and homoarginine. Both L- and D-arginine are equally effective. While not wishing to be bound by any particular theory of operation, this lack of enantiomeric specificity suggests that the primary enhancing effect derives from a compact, basic moiety, in this case the guanidinium ion. Thus, salty taste receptors in the membrane system of the invention may be stimulated by contacting them with a source of guanidinium ions. It may be assumed that these enhancing compounds interact directly with the human salty taste ion channel, since most sodium channel blockers and enhancers contain guanidinium groups that interact with acidic moieties inside the channel pore lumen. Thus, the molecular mechanisms of human salty taste share selected functional features in common with known sodium channels but also have unique pharmacological attributes.

Amiloride and amiloride derivatives (e.g., phenamil, benzamil and the like) may be useful in assessing other ENaCs, such as those containing an alpha subunit. Amiloride and derivatives may also be used in assays to inhibit the background (endogenous ENaCs) if the purity of the subunit preparations is low such that host cell ENaCs are contaminating the preparation. Thus, in some aspects of the invention, the methods further comprise contacting the ENaC with a sodium ion channel antagonist. Such antagonists are well-known to those of skill in the art. Preferably, the antagonist is amiloride, chlorhexidine, or homologs, analogs, or derivatives thereof.

The invention also includes within its scope high-throughput screening assays to identify compounds that modulate the biological activity of the salty taste receptor. High-throughput screening assays permit screening of large numbers of test compounds in an efficient manner. For example, but not by way of limitation, lipid membranes comprising an assembled ENaC can be dispersed throughout a multi-well plate such as a 96-well microtiter plate. Each well of the microtiter plate can be used to run a separate assay against a candidate modulator. A microtiter plate permits screening of multiple concentrations of a test compound, multiple test compounds, alone or in combination with other test compounds, and multiple ENaCs, including ENaCs with varying ratios of subdomains as described and exemplified herein under identical assay conditions. In other aspects of the invention, planar lipid bilayers containing the ENaC of interest is contacted with a test compound and a measurement is taken. The solution on one or both sides of the planar bilayer is changed and the bilayer is contacted with a second test compound. This may be continuously used as a high-throughput assay. The assays may take place in the presence of additional agonists or antagonists. Data obtained for the test compounds are compared with measurements taken in the presence of known agonists or antagonists and/or to control samples (such as a non-stimulatory/non-inhibitory medium).

Serial assays may be performed to narrow down the pool of test compounds that act as salty taste modifiers. For example, the in vitro assays of the invention may be combined with cell-based assays as a secondary or confirming screening step. Such assays have been described, for example, in published U.S. Patent Application 2005/0059094 to Servant et al.

An additional aspect of the invention features methods for identifying compounds that modulate salty taste perception in a subject by a combination of in vitro and in vivo screening assays. In one aspect, a test compound is first screened in vitro to determine its modulatory effect on an epithelial sodium ion channel, and then screened further in vivo to determine if the compound can modulate, preferably enhance, salty taste perception in a subject.

In one aspect, the in vitro screening assay comprises identifying modulators of the human salty taste receptor comprising contacting a test compound with at least one ENaC and determining a decrease in the biological activity of the ENaC in the presence of the test compound relative to the biological activity of the ENaC in the absence of the test compound. This aspect can be practiced according to the details described herein. In one aspect, the in vivo screening assay comprises identifying compounds that enhance salty taste perception in a subject comprising administering a test compound to the subject and determining whether salty taste perception is enhanced in the subject relative to the level of salty taste perception by the subject in the absence of the test compound.

For in vivo screening, subjects can be recruited via an Institutional Review Board-approved method such as general advertisement in print media. Prior to entering the study, each subject provides informed consent. The participants can be requested to refrain from eating, drinking or chewing gum for at least one hour prior to testing. Subjects can be paid to participate in the study.

Experimental solutions containing a candidate test compound to be administered to study subjects can be presented in the form of a binary mixture such as the compound and an inorganic salt such as NaCl. Preliminary experiments can be carried out to establish an appropriate concentration range for the test compound and inorganic salts. For example, four concentrations of the test compound are used with four concentrations of the inorganic salts. Aqueous solutions can be prepared to encompass all possible combinations of the concentrations of the test compound with the inorganic salts.

To assess the salty taste amplifying properties of a given stimulus, any means suitable in the art can be used. One non-limiting example of such means is the method of magnitude estimation. Magnitude estimation measures ratings of the perceived intensities of saltiness from a sample. Subjects participating in saltiness assessments can be instructed to rate the saltiness or relative saltiness of a solution. Each solution can be sampled by the subject once, twice, three times, or more.

Prior to sampling a test solution, subjects can be instructed to rinse their mouth. For example, subjects can be instructed to rinse with and expectorate water four times, preferably within a short duration of time such as period of approximately two minutes. Test samples and inorganic salt solutions can then be administered to the subjects, preferably in random order, and without replacement. For example, solutions can be prepared in polystyrene medicine cups (Dynarex, N.Y.) in 10 ml aliquots, and administered to the subjects. The subject can be instructed to rate the relative saltiness of the solution, and the relative saltiness ratings for each solution can be arithmetically averaged to yield single ratings of saltiness.

Magnitude estimation may not reveal differences due to variations in subject number use. To eliminate the variance produced by idiosyncratic number usage in the magnitude estimation task, the saltiness ratings can be standardized to the grand arithmetic mean of the saltiness ratings of NaCl alone in water (averaged across all NaCl concentrations). Each subject's mean saltiness rating can be divided into the grand saltiness mean, and the quotient can be used as the multiplicative standardization factor for that individual's saltiness rating. This procedure equates mean saltiness ratings of NaCl in water across subjects.

Analysis of variance (ANOVA) can be conducted on the standardized repeated measures data from the magnitude estimation, and post-hoc pairwise comparisons can be conducted with Tukey's honest significant difference (HSD) analysis.

An alternative to magnitude estimation is a forced-ranking procedure, wherein a series of two-alternative forced-choice pairings are used to rank the saltiness of aqueous solutions of NaCl in the presence or absence of a test compound putative enhancer. In this procedure, subjects can be instructed to taste half of the first solution (for example, 5 ml or 10 ml solution) of the first pair of samples for three seconds and expectorate. Subjects then rinse twice and taste half of the second sample, expectorate, rinse twice and taste the remainder of the two solutions using the same procedure. After tasting both solutions twice, subjects can be asked to indicate which solution they thought was saltier. If they report that neither solution seemed saltier, subjects can be asked to guess (forced-choice). The procedure can repeated for all samples.

The saltiness rankings can be calculated based on the number of times a particular solution is chosen as being saltier than all other solutions using the Friedman analysis of pairwise rankings. The Tukey HSD can be calculated to determine if the differences between individual rankings are significant.

Compounds identified by any of the foregoing inventive screening methods are contemplated to be within the scope of this invention. Such compounds are preferably agonists of ENaCs, more preferably agonists of the human salty taste receptor, and even more preferably are enhancers of human salty taste receptors. Such compounds may be formulated as a nutraceutical or pharmaceutical composition by admixing such compound in an amount effective to enhance salty taste perception in the subject to which it is administered and a pharmaceutically or nutraceutically acceptable carrier, as described herein.

It is an object of the invention to use the assays to identify compounds that are perceived as salty, as well as to identify compounds that enhance salty taste (such that a reduced amount of sodium or lithium is perceived as a higher concentration of sodium or lithium). The invention enables the screening of libraries of compounds including natural or synthetic molecules including, but not limited to proteins, peptides, oligonucleotides, polynucleotides, polysaccharides, lipids, small organic molecules, and the like, for their ability to act as salt substitutes, salty taste enhancers, or salty taste inhibitors. The invention includes salt substitutes, salty taste enhancers, and salty taste inhibitors identified by the methods of the invention.

Also featured in accordance with the present invention are artificial lipid membranes and methods for preparing the same. The artificial lipid membranes comprise at least one lipid and an assembled ENaC or at least one subunit of an ENaC. In preferred aspects, the ENaC is a salty taste receptor. The lipid membrane can be comprised of any suitable lipid, and are preferably comprised of phospholipids. Suitable lipids include, without limitation, phosphatidylcholine, phoshpatidylethanolamine, phostphatidylserine, phosphatidylglyine, phosphatidylinositol, sphingomyelin, cholesterol, cardiolipin, or a homolog, analog, or derivative thereof, and these can be obtained from any source suitable in the art. The lipid membrane can be in any conformation, and preferably is a liposome or lipid bilayer.

In one aspect, an artificial lipid membrane is prepared by admixing a liposome that comprises at least one phospholipid with an ENaC or a particular subunit or subunits of an ENaC that has dissolved in a suitable aqueous buffer. The aqueous buffer comprises at least one detergent. Suitable detergents are well known in the art, and include without limitation, Tween, Triton, CHAPS, sodium cholate, and octyl-glucoside. After mixing the phospholipids and ENaC or subunits thereof, the mixture is allowed to incubate for several minutes, preferably at least about 20 minutes, to permit assembly of the ENaC into a lipid membrane. Following the incubation, the detergent is removed according to any means suitable in the art, such as those described and exemplified herein. Other methods known in the art of preparing lipids and liposomes containing proteins may be used to produce the lipids and liposomes containing the ENaC subunits.

In some aspects, the ENaC is assembled into a liposome. The liposome can be converted into a planar lipid bilayer by use of techniques that are well known and routine in the art, including those that are described and exemplified herein. In some aspects, the liposomes contain a substance other than found in the surrounding milieu. For example, but not by way of limitation, the liposomes may contain a fluorescent voltage-sensitive or membrane potential dye that is responsive to sodium or lithium, to indicate a change in sodium content as a marker of sodium flow upon stimulation with a test compound.

The invention also features kits for identifying modulators of the human salty taste receptor. The kits comprise at least one phospholipid, an isolated epithelial sodium ion channel subunit(s), and optionally a source of sodium and/or lithium ions, and instructions for using the kit in a method for identifying modulators of the human salty taste receptor. In some aspects, the kits optionally comprise an epithelial sodium ion channel antagonist and/or agonist.

The invention provides a method for modulating salty taste perception in a subject by contacting a salty taste receptor with a compound that specifically interacts with the putative amiloride-sensitive region of the delta subunit that contains Cys532. In human subjects, this delta subunit comprises the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:12. The modulators may enhance or inhibit salty taste perception by either stimulating the receptor or blocking the receptor. The compounds may interact with the delta receptor by binding to the receptor, preferably in the putative amiloride sensitive region having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:12.

Using computer programs for rational-based drug design that are available in the art, molecular modeling may be performed based on the primary amino acid sequence data available herein and knowledge in the art as to tertiary structure of ion channels to provide a three dimensional model of the human salty taste receptor. Such modeling permits the rational selection of candidate compounds that will interact with specific modulatory sites including, as example, the putative amiloride binding site of the delta subunit, motif SEQ ID NO:12. These compounds, or classes of compounds, will act as salty taste modifiers. Compounds that interact with these regions (e.g., delta subunit SEQ ID NO:12) are useful as modifiers of salty taste perception. Thus, the data presented herein provide a structural-functional relationship between the subunits comprising the salty taste receptor and the areas of the subunits that are likely involved in salty taste perception.

The following actual and prophetic examples are provided to describe the invention in more detail. They are intended to illustrate, not to limit the invention.

Example 1

Procedure for Obtaining Human Fungiform Papillae and Taste Cells. Human fungiform papillae containing taste buds are routinely obtained from the anterior dorsal surface of the tongues of volunteers by a minor surgical biopsy procedure carried out under local anesthesia. The general procedure is described in Spielman, AI et al. Collection of taste tissue from mammals. Experimental Cell Biology of Taste and Olfaction. Spielman A I and Brand J G eds. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla., pp 25-32. Volunteers give informed consent. This procedure has been reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board. The excised papillae can be subsequently used either for RNA extraction, immunohistochemistry or in situ hybridization, or in a procedure that results in a suspension of isolated taste cells.

RNA extraction, histochemistry an in situ analysis. When used for total RNA extraction, papillae are immediately subjected to a standard extraction procedure using TRIzol™ reagent (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, Calif.). The RNA extract is treated with DNase to remove most genomic DNA. Any DNA remaining could otherwise yield false positive results in subsequent steps where the use of intron-spanning primers is not possible. Genomic material, however, is useful in quantitative reverse trancriptase polymerase chain reaction (QRT-PCR) because the single copy of the genomic DNA signals the point of highest sensitivity of the PCR, and provides thereby a convenient end-point for the procedure. Reverse transcription is then performed on the RNA to yield a DNA copy of the RNA, known as complementary DNA or cDNA. This cDNA will used as the substrate in the polymerase chain reaction.

Because the fungiform papillae RNA and subsequent cDNA are generally of high quality, the entire coding sequence or open reading frame (ORF) of the protein under study can be immediately amplified. The oligo-nucleotide primers used to effect this amplification are designed based on the published sequence of the same or similar protein annotated in GenBank. The PCR reaction products can be analyzed by agarose gel electrophoresis. This procedure is often used to obtain the entire coding sequence of a gene known to be expressed in taste bud cells, the full sequence of which cannot be obtained readily from single cell analysis.

The excised papillae may also be used for general or immunohistochemical, or in situ hybridization analysis. Various techniques and procedures are available and can be used to fix and protect the tissue. As an example, FIG. 1 shows a human taste bud stained by an ATPase histochemical procedure. FIG. 2 shows antibody detection of the second messenger enzyme, phospholipase Cbeta2 (PLCbeta2) using an immunohistochemical procedure on human taste cells. The procedure is as follows: Histological sections (8 to 10 microns) of fungiform papillae were washed three times in 1×PBS for 10 minutes., placed in blocking buffer at room temperature for 4-18 hours. Blocking buffer was removed and primary antibody (rabbit anti-PLCbeta2) was added in three concentrations (1:50, 1:100, and 1:200 in buffer). The primary antibody solution was removed and the slides were washed three times in PBS. The first wash drained immediately while the subsequent washes were incubated for 10-20 minutes each. Excess fluid was removed and a the secondary antibody solution (CY3-labeled goat anti-rabbit, 1:1000) was added to the sections and the slides were incubated at room temperature for 45-120 minutes. The slides were washed three times in PBS. The first wash drained immediately while the subsequent washes were incubated for 10-20 minutes each. The excess fluid was drained, but slides were allowed to remain wet. Coverslips were placed on the slides and the slides were examined under a fluorescence microscope.

RT-PCR for identifying ENaC subunits and sequencing the same. Extraction of total RNA from biopsied fungiform papillae is carried out as described above, without DNase treatment, followed by synthesis of first-strand cDNA. Amplification of ENaC subunits (no more than 500 bp in size) can be performed with the PCR Core System I reagent kit (Promega Corp., Madison Wis.) using primers as above.

If a product of apparently the correct size is obtained, this product is excised from the gel and purified. The product is then ligated into a plasmid vector to yield a recombinant plasmid which has the gene for the coding sequence of the protein (e.g., ENaC δ) inserted into it. The recombinant plasmid is used to transform bacterial cells which, when provided with an appropriate growth medium, produce large amounts of plasmid. Purification of the bacterial culture yields the recombinant plasmid in a pure form, which enables one to get the sequence of the protein gene from human fungiform papillae. Finally, a bioinformatic analysis of the sequence, using the BLAST program confirms that the correct sequence has indeed been obtained.

Using this procedure, evidence was found for transcripts of four ENaC subunit types in human fungiform papillae. These subunits are the alpha, beta, gamma, and delta ENaC subunits. The complete ORF of the alpha subunit was rarely observed, but the complete ORF of the other subunits was nearly always observed. Surprisingly, it was discovered that the delta subunit of ENaC is present in human fungiform papillae.

Example 2

Identification of the Human Salty Taste Receptor and the Importance of the Delta Subunit

In accordance with the present invention, the delta subunit of the ENaC in the fungiform (taste) papillae of humans. The clones in which the subunit was detected were from pooled cDNA from 3 individuals who agreed to undergo a biopsy procedure to remove several fungiform papillae from the anterior dorsal surface of the tongue.

Characteristics of the delta subunit. The delta subunit of the epithelial sodium channel was detected in the fungiform papillae from thirteen individuals by RT-PCR. The detected fragments were amplified by PCR and subcloned. The polynucleotide encoding delta subunit from these thirteen individuals was then fully sequenced. It was determined that the human delta subunit from fungiform papillae differed from human delta subunit cloned from kidney in the putative amiloride binding site. The putative amiloride binding site contains a tyrosine at amino acid 532 in delta subunit from kidney (SEQ ID NO:8), but amino acid 532 in delta from fungiform papillae was cysteines in each of the thirteen samples sequenced (SEQ ID NO:9):

TABLE 1
Sequence of putative amiloride
Source of deltabinding site
Kidney delta:MGSLYSLWFGA(SEQ ID NO: 11)
Taste delta# 1:MGSLCSLWFGA(SEQ ID NO: 12)
Taste delta# 2:MGSLCSLWFGA(SEQ ID NO: 12)
Taste delta# 3:MGSLCSLWFGA(SEQ ID NO: 12)

FIG. 3 shows an amino acid sequence alignment of 11 delta subunits, where the first sequence is the GenBank sequence with the other 10 sequences being from 10 different individuals. At position 180, a possible polymorphism (R to P) is indicated. Other positions indicating possible polymorphisms are with positions 278 (F to I), 355 (S to R), 389 (E to Q), and 566 (R to H). Position 566 has also been implicated in amiloride binding. Without intending to be limited to any particular theory or mechanism of action, the polymorphisms may play a role in sensitivity to salty stimuli or may play a role in sensitivity to taste modulators.

The Y to C change at position 532 is significant as it may help explain why rat salty taste receptors are apparently amiloride sensitive while human salty taste receptors are not. As the rat's delta ENaC subunit is a psuedogene, it is not expressed. It is believed that the amiloride-sensitive alpha subunit functions as part of the salty receptor in rat. Although this substitution does not significantly alter the receptor sensitivity and specificity, the pharmacology of the channel is altered.

While the delta subunit is amiloride sensitive, it is less so than the alpha (FIG. 4). Thus, if the human salty taste receptor ENaC contained the usual form of delta, it too should show amiloride sensitivity. However, the putative amiloride binding site in delta from human taste cells contains a non-conservative substitution and may therefore have a different sensitivity to amiloride than delta subunit in kidney. Without intending to be limited to any particular theory or mechanism of action, it delta shows less sensitivity, this observation potentially can be interpreted to mean that delta is in the human salty taste receptor, particularly because amiloride cannot cross tight junctions. Because of the differences between rat and human, the rat is probably not a good model for salty taste perception in humans.

Cellular specificity of the human fungiform delta ENaC subunit. A human taste bud is shown in FIG. 1, wherein an 8 micron section of a human fungiform papilla is stained by an ATPase histochemical procedure. The question now became whether some, all, or none of these taste cells expressed delta ENaC. To view only those cells expressing the delta subunit, an antibody to the delta form of human ENaC was raised in rabbits. A representative photograph is shown in FIG. 5. The slide shows tissue specific labeling on a subset of cells within a human taste bud. The implication is that the human salty taste receptor is an ENaC composed of a multimer of delta, beta, and gamma subunits or of subunits alpha, delta, beta, and gamma. This specificity of delta in the taste cells accompanied by a notable dearth of full-length alpha in these same buds, suggested that the human salty taste receptor is a delta-containing ENaC and not simply an alpha, beta, gamma ENaC as suggested by others.

Isolation of human taste bud cells. A suspension of single isolated taste bud cells was prepared from human fungiform papillae by incubation of biopsied papillae in a collagenase-based enzymatic procedure, followed by washing of the papillae to effectively removed enzyme, then trituration of same through a glass pipette. The resulting suspension was enriched for cells of the taste bud. Individual cells were captured using a glass micropipette (See FIG. 6) and individually placed into a tube containing 2 to 10 μA of RNAlater.

The delta subunit is located in taste bud cells. cDNA was derived from 7 human fungiform taste cells that were individually isolated and captured, as described above, and then pooled. A product of the correct size (˜500 bp) was noted and its identity as a human ENaC delta subunit was confirmed by sequencing. Using this PCR procedure of identifying overlapping segments of the ORF of delta ENaC, the complete ORF of taste cell delta ENaC was obtained.

Single cell RT-PCR using nested primers was also performed, and revealed that two out of twelve human taste bud cells tested provided strong evidence for expression of delta, beta, and gamma subunits, without expressing full-length alpha (data not shown). One early single cell Q-RT-PCR revealed no message for the alpha subunit but approximately equal numbers of message copies for delta, gamma and beta (FIG. 7).

Using calcium imaging on a preparation of isolated taste cells, it is possible to identify those individual cells that are activated by sodium chloride. These cells are captured and their contents analyzed by Q-SC-RT-PCR. In a group of 30 salt sensitive cells, the primary expressed subunit was determined to be delta. Eight expressed delta, beta, and gamma, while 7 expressed delta, alpha, beta, and gamma.

An alignment of the amino acid sequences of the 10 gamma subunits sequenced from taste cells as compared to the GenBank sequence for gamma is shown in FIG. 8.

Having identified the salty receptor as delta, beta, gamma or delta, alpha, beta, gamma, each subunit will be expressed and reconstituted into lipid bilayers for analyses, as provided by the examples below.

Example 3

Preparation of Liposomes and Artificial Lipid Bilayers

This example demonstrates the techniques that are readily practiced to solubilize an abundant receptor from its membrane milieu, purify the receptor, and reconstitute the receptor in an artificial lipid membrane such as a lipid bilayer. Such membranes serve as an artificial biological membrane in which the receptor resumes its native conformation and can be studied in detail and in isolation, e.g., without interference from other proteins or the metabolic whimsy of a living cell.

This example, in part, describes the extraction, purification, and membrane-reconstitution of a taste receptor for L-arginine (L-arg) from catfish. The methods, which are published and described in Grosvenor, W et al. (2004) BMC Neuroscience 5:25, can be readily adapted for reconstitution of ENaC, ENaC subunits, and salty taste receptors in lipid membranes as described below. The catfish has served as a model for taste receptor studies because the receptors are very sensitive to certain amino acids. One such amino acid is L-arg. Like the ENaC, the taste receptor for L-arg in catfish is an ion channel. Parallel approaches are utilized in solubilizing the L-arg and ENaC-type receptors. The receptors differ primarily by origin—the L-arg receptor is purified from catfish taste tissue and the ENaC subunits are synthesized by a heterologous cell culture expression system.

Liposome generation. Liposomes are used to carry the solubilized receptor to the bilayer construct. The major challenge to studying a membrane-soluble protein is developing a procedure to move the protein from its native membrane or synthesis end point to an artificial lipid bilayer. Solubilization usually uses detergent and this detergent must be removed to avoid damage to the bilayer. The liposome performs this transfer by taking up the protein from the detergent system and giving it up to the bilayer.

Liposomes are prepared by adding 5 mg of the mixture of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine:1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPE:DOPC) in a 2:1 ratio in 0.5 ml of chloroform to a round bottom flask. The flask is rotated for 30-40 min at 4° C. After evaporation of the chloroform, a thin layer of lipid is formed to which 2 ml of buffer solution (300 mM NaCl, 50 mM Tris, pH=7) is added. After addition of the buffer, the flask is bath-sonicated 3 times with 3-5 min pulses to induce liposome formation. Alternatively, the probe sonicator can be pulsed for only 30-40 sec.

Dissolution of the L-ArgR into liposomes and pharmacology of L-ArgR in a lipid membrane. An amount (0.01 to 0.5 μg) of the L-ArgR dissolved in 100 mM NaCl/50 mM Tris, pH=7.1 containing one of several detergents such as Tween, CHAPS, Triton, Sodium Cholate, or/and Octyl-glucoside is added to the liposomes. The ratio of protein to lipid (mass:mass) for measuring channel activity as single cannel events is 1:2000-5000. The ratio for measuring macroscopic properties is in the range of 1:50-100. The protein-lipid mixture is incubated for 20-30 mins.

The properties of the L-ArgR as measured in the bilayer are very similar to those observed through taste nerve recordings from the animal, when the L-ArgR is in its native state. For example, the taste nerve recordings indicate that the sensitivity of the native receptor is in the tenths of uM of L-arg, while D-arg inhibits the receptor. FIG. 9 shows that when the L-ArgR is reconstituted into a bilayer, the same properties are seen. This demonstrates that a receptor like the L-ArgR is more directly and more readily studied when in the bilayer than when in the native state where its activity must be inferred from secondary neural recordings.

Reconstitution of the ENaC protein into liposomes. An amount (0.01 to 0.5 μg) of the sodium channel of interest, including ENaCα, ENaCδ, or specific ratio mixtures derived from the ENaC subunits, α, β, γ, δ, dissolved in 100 mM NaCl/50 mM Tris, pH=7.1 containing one of several detergents such as Tween, CHAPS, Triton, Sodium Cholate, or/and Octyl-glucoside will be added to the liposomes. The ratio of protein to lipid (mass:mass) for measuring channel activity as single cannel events is 1:2000-5000. The ratio for measuring macroscopic properties is in the range of 1:50-100. The protein-lipid mixture will be incubated for 20-30 mins. This procedure will be followed because the ENaC protein, being a membrane channel, needs to remain in solution while it is reconstituted into liposomes.

Reconstituted detergent-free proteo-liposomes containing one or more of the ENaCs can be prepared at least two ways. In one method, they can be formed through centrifugation of the protein:lipid mixture through gel filtration columns. These gel columns are prepared from Sephadex G-50 (fine), swollen overnight, and poured into 5-ml disposable columns (1.5-ml bed volume). Columns are pre-spun in a centrifuge at ˜1,000×g. The protein:lipid mixture is loaded on the top of the column, and proteo-liposomes free of detergent can be recovered by spinning the columns at 700 g for 1 min. Alternatively, detergent can be removed by dialysis. For dialysis, the protein:lipid mixture is loaded into a cassette dialysis unit and the mixture dialyzed overnight against 2000 ml of a Tris/NaCl/sucrose (detergent-free) buffer at 4° C. Phospholipid vesicles containing the protein are expected to form spontaneously as the concentration of detergent decreases during the dialysis.

Reconstitution of the channel proteins from proteo-liposomes into a planar lipid bilayer. The planar lipid bilayer is formed on an aperture between two aqueous compartments, which for operational purposes are called cis and trans compartments. The voltage generator will be connected to the cis compartment, with an Ag/AgCl electrode, to control membrane potential. The trans compartment (virtual ground) will be connected to the input of the current-measuring amplifier through a second Ag/AgCl electrode.

Forming the bilayer. A 4:1 mixture of DOPE:DOPC will be dissolved in 25 μl of n-decane (concentration ranging from 15 to 25 mg/ml). This mixture will be kept at room temperature and prepared each day that the experiment is performed. Electrode compartments will be filled with 3 M KCl and the Ag/AgCl electrodes will be placed in the compartment. The cis and trans compartments will be filled with the recording bath solution (100 mM NaCl, 10 Tris, pH 7) and agar bridges will be placed between them and the electrode compartments. To form the bilayer, a droplet of the lipid mixture will be spread onto the hole from the cis side.

The lipids can be determined to be completely formed around the hole when the resistance increased and the signal is not saturating. To verify that an organized bilayer has formed, the voltage pulses across the bilayer can be applied and “capacitive currents” can be measured. For a hole of 100 μm, the capacitance is expected to be of the order of 50-100 pF. The electrical resistance of the bilayer is expected to be higher than 109 Ohm.

Reconstitution. After the bilayer has formed, 10-15 μl of the proteo-liposomes will be added to the cis-side of the bilayer under constant stirring. When channel subunits are incorporated into the bilayer, the currents are expected to change in steps. Macroscopic current will be measured when many channels are incorporated.

Liposome fusion with the bilayer happens spontaneously, and currents will be able to be recorded within about 5 to 30 minutes. In some cases, it may be necessary to facilitate the liposome fusion by: creating a concentration gradient across the liposome by adding the liposomes formed previously in 300 mM NaCl to a bilayer bathing solution containing 100 mM NaCl, or by creating a concentration gradient across the lipid bilayer by adding 100 mM NaCl to the cis side and 10 mM NaCl to the trans side, or by changing bilayer and/or liposome lipid composition by the addition of negatively charged lipid such as DOPS to the bilayer.

Example 4

Expression of Varying Ratios of ENaC Receptor Subdomains In Lipid Bilayers

This is a prophetic example. The ENaC is a heteromultimeric complex generally comprised of three subunits: either of subunits α, β, and γ (in most tissues as α2 βγ complex) or subunits δ, β, and γ. These subunits can assemble in varying ratios, often dictated by the tissue source. Varying the relative ratios of the subunits confers unique kinetics and pharmacology upon these channels. Without intending to be limited to any particular theory or mechanism of action, it is believed that the δ subunit replaces the α subunit in many tissues, and that such a substitution may modify particularly the pharmacology of the channel.

Single cell quantitative PCR with specific reference to estimation of the ratios of ENaC subunits. While there is no guarantee of a one-to-one correspondence between amount of message and amount of protein, Q-PCR is one tool available for estimation of ENaC ratio. Assuming a salty taste cell is active, it is likely to have a number of copies of a particular subunit. It is likely that the ratio of message copies will be at least approximately that of the protein products. Quantitative single cell PCR can be used to gain a semi-quantitative picture of the relative abundance of message for any proteins of interest. The procedure, although theoretically straight forward, presents a number of challenging obstacles. With taste cells, for example, RNA quality can be problematic because the time-consuming procedure currently used to obtain isolated cells (see above) is conducive to destruction of RNA. To be confident in the experimental technique, the following procedure can be carried out: (1) Design several unique primer pairs for each gene of interest, using only those that have almost identical efficiency under the same PCR conditions for every gene of interest. (2) Construct a primer set (mixture of primer pairs) from the appropriate pairs above that registers as a blank when used in a water control PCR reaction. (3) Collect individual cells (as above) into an RNase-free environment, lyse the cell and reverse transcribe the single cell mRNA content using a commercially available kit. (4) Run a limited (10-25) number of cycles of the first stage PCR with the primer set and condition above, so that all of the reactions are in a linear amplification phase. (5) Dilute the above reaction (100×−1000×), and use an aliquot as template along with a single pair of primers from the set above and perform the second stage of PCR (in duplicate/triplicate) using a Q-PCR machine. (6) A relative quantification method is used for data analysis. Normalization is based on amplification of a genomic DNA that is not translated/transcribed of which there is, by definition, one copy of the gene. The differences in gene expression can be determined by comparing ratio (ΔCt between target gene and genomic reference sequence in sample) differences (ΔΔCts, the differences of ΔCts between two samples).

A taste bud cell containing message for human ENaC subunits δ, β, and γ, but no message for α was apparent. The Q-PCR trace of this analysis is shown in FIG. 7. From this single cell, it can be concluded that the ENAC of that cell is of multimeric structure, δ1 β1 γ1. However, as these traces are not normalized, the definitive structure may have a different stoichiometric ratio. The best evidence, however, suggests that the human salty taste receptor is composed of δ1 β1 γ1.

Once sequence confirmation is obtained, the recombinant plasmid can be used as the substrate in a process known as in vitro protein expression (IVPE). This procedure, be it either cell driven or a cell-free system, allows generation of large amounts (mM) of desired protein, in this case, ENaC subunits, δ, α, β, and γ. A Western blot can be used to confirm the identity of the manufactured protein. Analysis of the reaction mixture using an antibody to the protein (a Western blot) is used to confirm that the desired protein has indeed been obtained.

The desired protein can be isolated and purified. Purification of the protein by affinity chromatography involves chemically linking an antibody to the protein with a column matrix such as Sephadex. Passing the IVPE reaction mixture through the column results in binding of the protein to its antibody on the column. Elution of the column with an appropriate reagent yields the enriched protein. The protein eluate can be quantified by measuring total nitrogen, as in the Kjeldahl procedure. This measure of total nitrogen content is then compared to the protein's absorption at 280 nm to calculate an absorption coefficient. From this point, absorption at 280 nm becomes a convenient and accurate measure of protein concentration.

Knowing the actual concentration of each subunit of the ENaC allows the combination of these subunits in specific ratios, these having been estimated by the Q-PCR of single cells. As these proteins are membrane associated, they will require some amount of detergent to remain soluble. While their being soluble is required for combining them in specific ratios, detergent will destroy the lipid bilayer into which they need to be reconstituted to measure activity. Thus, reconstitution of the lipid bilayer with the isolated proteins requires that any detergent be removed. Detergent can be removed by any means suitable in the art, such as dialysis as described herein. Reconstitution of isolated proteins into lipid membranes has been described (Grosvenor, W et al. (2004) BMC Neurosci. 5:2202-5), and summarized in the examples above. Because the subunits for human ENaC are synthesized, an advantage is gained as careful control over the composition an ratios of any putative salt taste receptor subunits can be exerted.

The present invention is not limited to the embodiments described and exemplified above, but is capable of variation and modification within the scope of the appended claims.

SEQUENCE LISTING

SEQ ID NO: 1
nt for human alpha
atggagggga acaagctgga ggagcaggac tctagccctc
cacagtccac tccagggctc atgaagggga acaagcgtga
ggagcagggg ctgggccccg aacctgcggc gccccagcag
cccacggcgg aggaggaggc cctgatcgag ttccaccgct
cctaccgaga gctcttcgag ttcttctgca acaacaccac
catccacggc gccatccgcc tggtgtgctc ccagcacaac
cgcatgaaga cggccttctg ggcagtgctg tggctctgca
cctttggcat gatgtactgg caattcggcc tgcttttcgg
agagtacttc agctaccccg tcagcctcaa catcaacctc
aactcggaca agctcgtctt ccccgcagtg accatctgca
ccctcaatcc ctacaggtac ccggaaatta aagaggagct
ggaggagctg gaccgcatca cagagcagac gctctttgac
ctgtacaaat acagctcctt caccactctc gtggccggct
cccgcagccg tcgcgacctg cgggggactc tgccgcaccc
cttgcagcgc ctgagggtcc cgcccccgcc tcacggggcc
cgtcgagccc gtagcgtggc ctccagcttg cgggacaaca
acccccaggt ggactggaag gactggaaga tcggcttcca
gctgtgcaac cagaacaaat cggactgctt ctaccagaca
tactcatcag gggtggatgc ggtgagggag tggtaccgct
tccactacat caacatcctg tcgaggctgc cagagactct
gccatccctg gaggaggaca cgctgggcaa cttcatcttc
gcctgccgct tcaaccaggt ctcctgcaac caggcgaatt
actctcactt ccaccacccg atgtatggaa actgctatac
tttcaatgac aagaacaact ccaacctctg gatgtcttcc
atgcctggaa tcaacaacgg tctgtccctg atgctgcgcg
cagagcagaa tgacttcatt cccctgctgt ccacagtgac
tggggcccgg gtaatggtgc acgggcagga tgaacctgcc
tttatggatg atggtggctt taacttgcgg cctggcgtgg
agacctccat cagcatgagg aaggaaaccc tggacagact
tgggggcgat tatggcgact gcaccaagaa tggcagtgat
gttcctgttg agaaccttta cccttcaaag tacacacagc
aggtgtgtat tcactcctgc ttccaggaga gcatgatcaa
ggagtgtggc tgtgcctaca tcttctatcc gcggccccag
aacgtggagt actgtgacta cagaaagcac agttcctggg
ggtactgcta ctataagctc caggttgact tctcctcaga
ccacctgggc tgtttcacca agtgccggaa gccatgcagc
gtgaccagct accagctctc tgctggttac tcacgatggc
cctcggtgac atcccaggaa tgggtcttcc agatgctatc
gcgacagaac aattacaccg tcaacaacaa gagaaatgga
gtggccaaag tcaacatctt cttcaaggag ctgaactaca
aaaccaattc tgagtctccc tctgtcacga tggtcaccct
cctgtccaac ctgggcagcc agtggagcct gtggttcggc
tcctcggtgt tgtctgtggt ggagatggct gagctcgtct
ttgacctgct ggtcatcatg ttcctcatgc tgctccgaag
gttccgaagc cgatactggt ctccaggccg agggggcagg
ggtgctcagg aggtagcctc caccctggca tcctcccctc
cttcccactt ctgcccccac cccatgtctc tgtccttgtc
ccagccaggc cctgctccct ctccagcctt gacagcccct
ccccctgcct atgccaccct gggcccccgc ccatctccag
ggggctctgc aggggccagt tcctccacct gtcctctggg
ggggccctga
SEQ ID NO: 2
pro for human alpha
MEGNKLEEQD SSPPQSTPGL MKGNKREEQG LGPEPAAPQQ
PTAEEEALIE FHRSYRELFE FFCNNTTIHG AIRLVCSQHN
RMKTAFWAVL WLCTFGMMYW QFGLLFGEYF SYPVSLNINL
NSDKLVFPAV TICTLNPYRY PEIKEELEEL DRITEQTLFD
LYKYSSFTTL VAGSRSRRDL RGTLPHPLQR LRVPPPPHGA
RRARSVASSL RDNNPQVDWK DWKIGFQLCN QNKSDCFYQT
YSSGVDAVRE WYRFHYINIL SRLPETLPSL EEDTLGNFIF
ACRFNQVSCN QANYSHFHHP MYGNCYTFND KNNSNLWMSS
MPGINNGLSL MLRAEQNDFI PLLSTVTGAR VMVHGQDEPA
FMDDGGFNLR PGVETSISMR KETLDRLGGD YGDCTKNGSD
VPVENLYPSK YTQQVCIHSC FQESMIKECG CAYIFYPRPQ
NVEYCDYRKH SSWGYCYYKL QVDFSSDHLG CFTKCRKPCS
VTSYQLSAGY SRWPSVTSQE WVFQMLSRQN NYTVNNKRNG
VAKVNIFFKE LNYKTNSESP SVTMVTLLSN LGSQWSLWFG
SSVLSVVEMA ELVFDLLVIM FLMLLRRFRS RWPSPGRGGR
GAQEVASTLA SSPPSHFCPH PMSLSLSQPG PAPSPALTAP
PPAYATLGPR PSPGGSAGAS SSTCPLGGP
SEQ ID NO: 3
nt for human beta
atgcacgtga agaagtacct gctgaagggc ctgcatcggc
tgcagaaggg ccccggctac acgtacaagg agctgctggt
gtggtactgc gacaacacca acacccacgg ccccaagcgc
atcatctgtg aggggcccaa gaagaaagcc atgtggttcc
tgctcaccct gctcttcgcc gccctcgtct gctggcagtg
gggcatcttc atcaggacct acttgagctg ggaggtcagc
gtctccctct ccgtaggctt caagaccatg gacttccccg
ccgtcaccat ctgcaatgct agccccttca agtattccaa
aatcaagcat ttgctgaagg acctggatga gctgatggaa
gctgtcctgg agagaatcct ggctcctgag ctaagccatg
ccaatgccac caggaacctg aacttctcca tctggaacca
cacacccctg gtccttattg atgaacggaa cccccaccac
cccatggtcc ttgatctctt tggagacaac cacaatggct
taacaagcag ctcagcatca gaaaagatct gtaatgccca
cgggtgcaaa atggccatga gactatgtag cctcaacagg
acccagtgta ccttccggaa cttcaccagt gctacccagg
cattgacaga gtggtacatc ctgcaggcca ccaacatctt
tgcacaggtg ccacagcagg agctagtaga gatgagctac
cccggcgagc agatgatcct ggcctgccta ttcggagctg
agccctgcaa ctaccggaac ttcacgtcca tcttctaccc
tcactatggc aactgttaca tcttcaactg gggcatgaca
gagaaggcac ttccttcggc caaccctgga actgaattcg
gcctgaagtt gatcctggac ataggccagg aagactacgt
ccccttcctt gcgtccacgg ccggggtcag gctgatgctt
cacgagcaga ggtcataccc cttcatcaga gatgagggca
tctacGccat gtcggggaca gagacgtcca tcggggtact
cgtggacaag cttcagcgca tgggggagcc ctacagcccg
tgcaccgtga atggttctga ggtccccgtc caaaacttct
acagtgacta caacacgacc tactccatcc aggcctgtct
tcgctcctgc ttccaagacc acatgatccg taactgcaac
tgtggccact acctgtaccc actGccccgt ggggagaaat
actgcaacaa ccgggacttc ccagactggg cccattgcta
ctcagatcta cagatgagcg tggcgcagag agagacctgc
attggcatgt gcaaggagtc ctgcaatgac acccagtaca
agatgaccat ctccatggct gactggcctt ctgaggcctc
cgaggactgg attttccacg tcttgtctca ggagcgggac
caaagcacca atatcaccct gagcaggaag ggaattgtca
agctcaacat ctacttccaa gaatttaact atcgcaccat
tgaagaatca gcagccaata acatcgtctg gctgctctcg
aatctgggtg gccagtttgg cttctggatg gggggctctg
tgctgtgcct catcgagttt ggggagatca tcatcgactt
tgtgtggatc accatcatca agctggtggc cttggccaag
agcctacggc agcggcgagc ccaagccagc tacgctggcc
caccgcccac cgtggccgag ctggtggagg cccacaccaa
ctttggcttc cagcctgaca cggccccccg cagccccaac
actgggccct accccagtga gcaggccctg cccatcccag
gcaccccgcc ccccaactat gactccctgc gtctgcagcc
gctggacgtc atcgagtctg acagtgaggg tgatgccatc taa
SEQ ID NO: 4
pro for human beta
MHVKKYLLKG LHRLQKGPGY TYKELLVWYC DNTNTHGPKR
IICEGPKKKA MWFLLTLLFA ALVCWQWGIF IRTYLSWEVS
VSLSVGFKTM DFPAVTICNA SPFKYSKIKH LLKDLDELME
AVLERILAPE LSHANATRNL NFSIWNHTPL VLIDERNPHH
PMVLDLFGDN HNGLTSSSAS EKICNAHGCK MAMRLCSLNR
TQCTFRNFTS ATQALTEWYI LQATNIFAQV PQQELVEMSY
PGEQMILACL FGAEPCNYRN FTSIFYPHYG NCYIFNWGMT
EKALPSANPG TEFGLKLILD IGQEDYVPFL ASTAGVRLML
HEQRSYPFIR DEGIYAMSGT ETSIGVLVDK LQRMGEPYSP
CTVNGSEVPV QNFYSDYNTT YSIQACLRSC FQDHMIRNCN
CGHYLYPLPR GEKYCNNRDF PDWAHCYSDL QMSVAQRETC
IGMCKESCND TQYKMTISMA DWPSEASEDW IFHVLSQERD
QSTNITLSRK GIVKLNIYFQ EFNYRTIEES AANNIVWLLS
NLGGQFGFWM GGSVLCLIEF GEIIIDFVWI TIIKLVALAK
SLRQRRAQAS YAGPPPTVAE LVEAHTNFGF QPDTAPRSPN
TGPYPSEQAL PIPGTPPPNY DSLRLQPLDV IESDSEGDAI
SEQ ID NO: 5
nt for human taste gamma
atggcacccg gagagaagat caaagccaaa atcaagaaga
atctgcccgt gacgggccct caggcgccga ccattaaaga
gctgatgcgg tggtactgcc tcaacaccaa cacccatggc
tgtcgccgca tcgtggtgtc ccgcggccgt ctgcgccgcc
tcctctggat cgggttcaca ctgactgccg tggccctcat
cctctggcag tgcgccctcc tcgtcttctc cttctatact
gtctcagttt ccatcaaagt ccacttccgg aagctggatt
ttcctgcagt caccatctgc aacatcaacc cctacaagta
cagcaccgtt cgccaccttc tagctgactt ggaacaggag
accagagagg ccctgaagtc cctgtatggc tttccagagt
cccggaagcg ccgagaggcg gagtcctgga actccgtctc
agagggaaag cagcctagat tctcccaccg gattccgctg
ctgatctttg atcaggatga gaagggcaag gccagggact
tcttcacagg gaggaagcgg aaagtcggcg gtagcatcat
tcacaaggct tcaaatgtca tgcacatcga gtccaagcaa
gtggtgggat tccaactgtg ctcaaatgac acctccgact
gtgccaccta caccttcagc tcgggaatca atgccattca
ggagtggtat aagctacact acatgaacat catggcacag
gtgcctctgg agaagaaaat caacatgagc tattctgctg
aggagctgct ggtgacctgc ttctttgatg gagtgtcctg
tgatgccagg aatttcacgc ttttccacca cccgatgcat
gggaattgct atactttcaa caacagagaa aatgagacca
ttctcagcac ctccatgggg ggcagcgaat atgggctgca
agtcattttg tacataaacg aagaggaata caacccattc
ctcgtgtcct ccactggagc taaggtgatc atccatcggc
aggatgagta tcccttcgtc gaagatgtgg gaacagagat
tgagacagca atggtcacct ctataggaat gcacctgaca
gagtccttca agctgagtga gccctacagt cagtgcacgg
aggacgggag tgacgtgcca atcaggaaca tctacaacgc
tgcctactcg ctccagatct gccttcattc atgcttccag
acaaagatgg tggagaaatg tgggtgtgcc cagtacagcc
agcctctacc tcctgcagcc aactactgca actaccagca
gcaccccaac tggatgtatt gttactacca actgcatcga
gcctttgtcc aggaagagct gggctgccag tctgtgtgca
aggaagcctg cagctttaaa gagtggacac taaccacaag
cctggcacaa tggccatctg tggtttcgga gaagtggttg
ctgcctgttc tcacttggga ccaaggccgg caagtaaaca
aaaagctcaa caagacagac ttggccaaac tcttgatatt
ctacaaagac ctgaaccaga gatccatcat ggagagccca
gccaacagta ttgagatgct tctgtccaac ttcggtggcc
agctgggcct gtggatgagc tgctctgttg tctgcgtcat
cgagatcatc gaggtcttct tcattgactt cttctctatc
attgcccgcc gccagtggca gaaagccaag gagtggtggg
cctggaaaca ggctccccca tgtccagaag ctccccgtag
cccacagggc caggacaatc cagccctgga tatagacgat
gacctaccca ctttcaactc tgctttgcac ctgcctccag
ccctaggaac ccaagtgccc ggcacaccgc cccccaaata
caataccttg cgcttggaga gggccttttc caaccagctc
acagataccc agatgctaga tgagctctga
SEQ ID NO: 6
pro for human taste gamma
MAPGEKIKAK IKKNLPVTGP QAPTIKELMR WYCLNTNTHG
CRRIVVSRGR LRRLLWIGFT LTAVALILWQ CALLVFSFYT
VSVSIKVHFR KLDFPAVTIC NINPYKYSTV RHLLADLEQE
TREALKSLYG FPESRKRREA ESWNSVSEGK QPRFSHRIPL
LIFDQDEKGK ARDFFTGRKR KVGGSIIHKA SNVMHIESKQ
VVGFQLCSND TSDCATYTFS SGINAIQEWY KLHYMNIMAQ
VPLEKKINMS YSAEELLVTC FFDGVSCDAR NFTLFHHPMH
GNCYTFNNRE NETILSTSMG GSEYGLQVIL YINEEEYNPF
LVSSTGAKVI IHRQDEYPFV EDVGTEIETA MVTSIGMHLT
ESFKLSEPYS QCTEDGSDVP IRNIYNAAYS LQICLHSCFQ
TKMVEKCGCA QYSQPLPPAA NYCNYQQHPN WMYCYYQLHR
AFVQEELGCQ SVCKEACSFK EWTLTTSLAQ WPSVVSEKWL
LPVLTWDQGR QVNKKLNKTD LAKLLIFYKD LNQRSIMESP
ANSIEMLLSN FGGQLGLWMS CSVVCVIEII EVFFIDFFSI
IARRQWQKAK EWWAWKQAPP CPEAPRSPQG QDNPALDIDD
DLPTFNSALH LPPALGTQVP GTPPPKYNTL RLERAFSNQL
TDTQMLDEL
SEQ ID NO: 7
not for human kidney delta
atggctgagc accgaagcat ggacgggaga atggaagcag
ccacacgggg gggctctcac ctccaggctg cagcccagac
gccccccagg ccggggccac catcagcacc accaccacca
cccaaggagg ggcaccagga ggggctggtg gagctgcccg
cctcgttccg ggagctgctc accttcttct gcaccaatgc
caccatccac ggcgccatcc gcctggtctg ctcccgcggg
aaccgcctca agacgacgtc ctgggggctg ctgtccctgg
gagccctggt cgcgctctgc tggcagctgg ggctcctctt
tgagcgtcac tggcaccgcc cggtcctcat ggccgtctct
gtgcactcgg agcgcaagct gctcccgctg gtcaccctgt
gtgacgggaa cccacgtcgg ccgagtccgg tcctccgcca
tctggagctg ctggacgagt ttgccaggga gaacattgac
tccctgtaca acgtcaacct cagcaaaggc agagccgccc
tctccgccac tgtcccccgc cacgagcccc ccttccacct
ggaccgggag atccgtctgc agaggctgag ccactcgggc
agccgggtca gagtggggtt cagactgtgc aacagcacgg
gcggcgactg cttttaccga ggctacacgt caggcgtggc
ggctgtccag gactggtacc acttccacta tgtggatatc
ctggccctgc tgcccgcggc atgggaggac agccacggga
gccaggacgg ccacttcgtc ctctcctgca gttacgatgg
cctggactgc caggcccgac agttccggac cttccaccac
cccacctacg gcagctgcta cacggtcgat ggcgtctgga
cagctcagcg ccccggcatc acccacggag tcggcctggt
cctcagggtt gagcagcagc ctcacctccc tctgctgtcc
acgctggccg gcatcagggt catggttcac ggccgtaacc
acacgccctt cctggggcac cacagcttca gcgtccggcc
agggacggag gccaccatca gcatccgaga ggacgaggtg
caccggctcg ggagccccta cggccactgc accgccggcg
gggaaggcgt ggaggtggag ctgctacaca acacctccta
caccaggcag gcctgcctgg tgtcctgctt ccagcagctg
atggtggaga cctgctcctg tggctactac ctccaccctc
tgccggcggg ggctgagtac tgcagctctg cccggcaccc
tgcctgggga cactgcttct accgcctcta ccaggacctg
gagacccacc ggctcccctg tacctcccgc tgccccaggc
cctgcaggga gtctgcattc aagctctcca ctgggacctc
caggtggcct tccgccaagt cagctggatg gactctggcc
acgctaggtg aacaggggct gccgcatcag agccacagac
agaggagcag cctggccaaa atcaacatcg tctaccagga
gctcaactac cgctcagtgg aggaggcgcc cgtgtactcg
gtgccgcagc tgctctccgc catgggcagc ctctacagcc
tgtggtttgg ggcctccgtc ctctccctcc tggagctcct
ggagctgctg ctcgatgctt ctgccctcac cctggtgcta
ggcggccgcc ggctccgcag ggcgtggttc tcctggccca
gagccagccc tgcctcaggg gcgtccagca tcaagccaga
ggccagtcag atgcccccgc ctgcaggcgg cacgtcagat
gacccggagc ccagcgggcc tcatctccca cgggtgatgc
ttccaggggt tctggcggga gtctcagccg aagagagctg
ggctgggccc cagccccttg agactctgga cacctga
Note: tac->tgc provides Tyr->Cys at 532
SEQ ID NO: 8
pro for human kidney delta (with Y532)
MAEHRSMDGR MEAATRGGSH LQAAAQTPPR PGPPSAPPPP
PKEGHQEGLV ELPASFRELL TFFCTNATIH GAIRLVCSRG
NRLKTTSWGL LSLGALVALC WQLGLLFERH WHRPVLMAVS
VHSERKLLPL VTLCDGNPRR PSPVLRHLEL LDEFARENID
SLYNVNLSKG RAALSATVPR HEPPFHLDRE IRLQRLSHSG
SRVRVGFRLC NSTGGDCFYR GYTSGVAAVQ DWYHFHYVDI
LALLPAAWED SHGSQDGHFV LSCSYDGLDC QARQFRTFHH
PTYGSCYTVD GVWTAQRPGI THGVGLVLRV EQQPHLPLLS
TLAGIRVMVH GRNHTPFLGH HSFSVRPGTE ATISIREDEV
HRLGSPYGHC TAGGEGVEVE LLHNTSYTRQ ACLVSCFQQL
MVETCSCGYY LHPLPAGAEY CSSARHPAWG HCFYRLYQDL
ETHRLPCTSR CPRPCRESAF KLSTGTSRWP SAKSAGWTLA
TLGEQGLPHQ SHRQRSSLAK INIVYQELNY RSVEEAPVYS
VPQLLSAMGS LYSLWFGASV LSLLELLELL LDASALTLVL
GGRRLRRAWF SWPRASPASG ASSIKPEASQ MPPPAGGTSD
DPEPSGPHLP RVMLPGVLAG VSAEESWAGP QPLETLDT
SEQ ID NO: 9
pro for human brain delta (with C532)
MAEHRSMDGR MEAATRGGSH LQAAAQTPPR PGPPSAPPPP
PKEGHQEGLV ELPASFRELL TFFCTNATIH GAIRLVCSRG
NRLKTTSWGL LSLGALVALC WQLGLLFERH WHRPVLMAVS
VHSERKLLPL VTLCDGNPRR PSPVLRHLEL LDEFARENID
SLYNVNLSKG RAALSATVPR HEPPFHLDRE IRLQRLSHSG
SRVRVGFRLC NSTGGDCFYR GYTSGVAAVQ DWYHFHYVDI
LALLPAAWED SHGSQDGHFV LSCSYDGLDC QARQFRTFHH
PTYGSCYTVD GVWTAQRPGI THGVGLVLRV EQQPHLPLLS
TLAGIRVMVH GRNHTPFLGH HSFSVRPGTE ATISIREDEV
HRLGSPYGHC TAGGEGVEVE LLHNTSYTRQ ACLVSCFQQL
MVETCSCGYY LHPLPAGAEY CSSARHPAWG HCFYRLYQDL
ETHRLPCTSR CPRPCRESAF KLSTGTSRWP SAKSAGWTLA
TLGEQGLPHQ SHRQRSSLAK INIVYQELNY RSVEEAPVYS
VPQLLSAMGS LCSLWFGASV LSLLELLELL LDASALTLVL
GGRRLRRAWF SWPRASPASG ASSIKPEASQ MPPPAGGTSD
DPEPSGPHLP RVMLPGVLAG VSAEESWAGP QPLETLDT
SEQ ID NO: 10
motif for human kidney alpha
MGSQWSLWFGA
SEQ ID NO: 11
motif for human kidney delta
MGSLYSLWFGA
SEQ ID NO: 12
motif for human taste bud delta
MGSLCSLWFGA
SEQ ID NO: 13
pro for human taste gamma (Gamma A)
MAPGEKIKAK IKKNLPVTGP QAPTIKELMR WYCLNTNTHG
CRRIVVSRGR LRRLLWIGFT LTAVALILWQ CALLVFSFYT
VSVSIKVHFR KLDFPAVTIC NINPYKYSTV RHLLADLEQE
TREALKSLYG FPESRKRREA ESWNSVSEGK QPRFSHRIPP
LIFDQDEKGK ARDFFTGRKR KVGGSIIHKA SNVMHIESKQ
VVGFQLCSND TSDCATYTFS LGINAIQEWY KLHYMNIMAQ
VPLEKKINMS YSAEELLVTC FFDGVSCDAR NFTLFHHPMH
GNCYTFNNRE NETILSTSMG GSEYGLQVIL YINEEEYNPF
LVSSTGAKVI IHRQDEYPFV EDVGTEIETA MVTSIGMHLT
ESFKLSEPYS QCTEDGSDVP IRNIYNAAYS LQICLHSCFQ
TKMVEKCGCA QYSQPLPPAA NYCNYQQHPN WMYCYYQLHR
AFVQEELGCQ SVCKEACSLK EWTLTTSLAQ WPSVVSEKWL
LPVLTWDQGR QVNKKLNKTD LAKLLIFYKD LNQRSIMESP
ANSIEMLLSN FGGQLGLWMS CSVVCVVEII EVFFIDFFSI
IARRQWQKAK EWWAWKQAPP CPEAPRSPQG QDNPALDIDD
DLPTFNSALH LPPALGTQVP GTPPPKYNTL RLERAFSNQL
TDTQMLDEL
SEQ ID NO: 14
pro for human taste gamma (Gamma B)
MAPGEKIKAK IKKNLPVTGP QAPTIKELMR WYCLNTNTHG
CRRIVVSRGR LRRLLWIGFT LTAVALILWQ CALLVFSFYA
VSVSIKVHFR KLDFPAVTIC NINPYKYSTV RHLLADLEQE
TREALKSLYG FPESRKRREA ESWNSVSEGK QPRFSHRIPL
LIFDQDEKGK ARDFFTGRKR KVGGSIIHKA SNVMHIESKQ
VVGFQLCSND TSDCATYTFS SGINAIQEWY KLHYMNIMAQ
VPLEKKINMS YSAEELLVTC FFDGVSCDAR NFTLFHHPMH
GNCYTFNNRE NETILSTSMG GSEYGLQVIL YINEEEYNPF
LVSSTGAKVI IHRQDEYPFV EDVGTEIETA MVTSIGMHLT
ESFKLSEPYS QCTEDGSDVP IRNIYNAAYS LQICLHSCFQ
TKMVEKCGCA QYSQPLPPAA NYCNYQQHPN WMYCYYQLHR
AFVQEELGCQ SVCKEACSFK EWTLTTSLAQ WPSVVSEKWL
LPVLTWDQGR QVNKKLNKTD LAKLLIFYKD LNQRSIMESP
ANSIEMLLSN FGGQLGLWMS CSVVCVIEII EVFFIDFFSI
IARRQWQKAK EWWAWKQAPP CPEAPRSPQG QDNPALDIDD
DLPTFNSALH LPPALGTQVP GTPPPKYNTL RLERAFSNSL
TDTQMLDEL
SEQ ID NO: 15
pro for human taste gamma (Gamma C)
MAPGEKIKAK IKKNLPVTGP QAPTIKELMR WYCLNTNTHG
CRRIVVSRGR LRRLLWIGFT LTAVALILWQ CALLVFSFYT
VSVSIKVHFR KLDFPAVTIC NINPYKYSTV RHLLADLEQE
TREALKSLYG FPESRKRREA ESWNSVSEGK QPRFSHRIPL
LIFDQDEKGK ARDFFTGRKR KVGGSIIHKA SNVMHIESKQ
VVGFQLCSND TSDCATYTFS SGINAIQEWY KLHYMNIMAQ
VPLEKKINMS YSAEELLVTC FFDGVSCDAR NFTLFHHPMH
GNCYTFNNRE NETILSTSMG GSEYGLQVIL YINEEEYNPF
LVSSTGAKVI IHRQDEYPFV EDVGTEIETA MVTSIGMHLT
ESFKLSEPYS QCTEDGSDVP IRNIYNAAYS LQICLHSCFQ
TKMVEKCGCA QYSQPLPPAA NYCNYQQHPN WMYCYYQLHR
AFVQEELGCQ SVCKEACSFK EWTLTTSLAQ WPSVVSEKWL
LPVLTWDQGR QVNKKLNKTD LAKLLIFYKD LNQRSIMESP
ANSIEMLLSN FGGQLGLWMS CSVVCVIEII EVFFIDFFSI
IARRQWQKAK EWWAWKQAPP CPEAPRSPQG QDNPALDIDD
GLPTFNSALH LPPALGTQVP GTPPPKYNTL RLERAFSNQL
TDTQMLDEL
SEQ ID NO: 16
pro for human lung gamma (X87160)
MAPGEKIKAK IKKNLPVTGP QAPTIKELMR WYCLNTNTHG
CRRIVVSRGR LRRLLWIGFT LTAVALILWQ CALLVFSFYT
VSVSIKVHFR KLDFPAVTIC NINPYKYSTV RHLLADLEQE
TREALKSLYG FPESRKRREA ESWNSVSEGK QPRFSHRIPL
LIFDQDEKGK ARDFFTGRKR KVGGSIIHKA SNVMHIESKQ
VVGFQLCSND TSDCATYTFS SGINAIQEWY KLHYMNIMAQ
VPLEKKINMS YSAEELLVTC FFDGVSCDAR NFTLFHHPMH
GNCYTFNNRE NETILSTSMG GSEYGLQVIL YINEEEYNPF
LVSSTGAKVI IHRQDEYPSV EDVGTEIETT MVTSIGMHLT
ESFKLSEPSS QCTEGGSDVP IRNIYNAAYS LQICLHSCFQ
TKMVEKCGCA QYSQPLPPAA NYCNYQQHPN WMYCYYQLHR
AFVQEELGCQ SVCKEACRFK EWTLTTSLAQ WPSVVSEKWL
LPVLTWDQGR QVNKKLNKTD LAKLLIFYKD LNQRSIMESP
ANSIEMLLSN FGGQLGLWMS CSVVCVIEII EVFFIDFFSI
IARRQWQKAK EWWAWKQAPP CPEAPRSPQG QDNPALDIDD
DLPTFNSALH LPPALGTQVP GTPPPKYNTL RLERAFSNQL
TDTQMLDEL
SEQ ID NO: 17
pro for human delta subject DENACA
MAEHRSMDGR MEAATRGGSH LQAAAQTPPR PGPPSAPPPP
PKEGHQEGLV ELPASFRELL TFFCTNATIH GAIRLVCSRG
NRLKTTSWGL LSLGALVALC WQLGLLFERH WHRPVLMAVS
VHSERKLLPL VTLCDGNPRR PSPVLRHLEL LDEFARENID
SLYNVNLSKG RAALSATVPR HEPPFHLDRE IRLQRLSHSG
SRVRVGFRLC NSTGGDCFYR GYTSGVAAVQ DWYHFHYVDI
LALLPAAWED SHGSQDGHFV LSCSYDGLDC QARQFRTIHH
PTYGSCYTVD GVWTAQRPGI THGVGLVLRV EQQPHLPLLS
TLAGIRVMVH GRNHTPFLGH HSFSVRPGTE ATIRIREDEV
HRLGSPYGHC TAGGEGVEVE LLHNTSYTRQ ACLVSCFQQL
MVETCSCGYY LHPLPAGAEY CSSARHPAWG HCFYRLYQDL
ETHRLPCTSR CPRPCRESAF KLSTGTSRWP SAKSAGWTLA
TLGEQGLPHQ SHRQRSSLAK INIVYQELNY RSVEEAPVYS
VPQLLSAMGS LCSLWFGASV LSLLELLELL LDASALTLVL
GGRRLHRAWF SWPRASPASG ASSIKPEASQ MPPPAGGTSD
DPEPSGPHLP RVMLPGVLAG VSAEESWAGP QPLETLDT
SEQ ID NO: 18
pro for human delta subject DENACD
MAEHRSMDGR MEAATRGGSH LQAAAQTPPR PGPPSAPPPP
PKEGHQEGLV ELPASFRELL TFFCTNATIH GAIRLVCSRG
NRLKTTSWGL LSLGALVALC WQLGLLFERH WHRPVLMAVS
VHSERKLLPL VTLCDGNPRR PSPVLRHLEL LDEFARENID
SLYNVNLSKG RAALSATVPR HEPPFHLDRE IRLQRLSHSG
SRVRVGFRLC NSTGGDCFYR GYTSGVAAVQ DWYHFHYVDI
LALLPAAWED SHGSQDGHFV LSCSYDGLDC QARQFRTFHH
PTYGSCYTVD GVWTAQRPGI THGVGLVLRV EQQPHLPLLS
TLAGIRVMVH GRNHTPFLGH HSFSVRPGTE ATISIREDEV
HRLGSPYGHC TAGGEGVEVE LLHNTSYTRQ ACLVSCFQQL
MVETCSCGYY LHPLPAGAEY CSSARHPAWG HCFYRLYQDL
ETHRLPCTSR CPRPCRESAF KLSTGTSRWP SAKSAGWTLA
TLGEQGLPHQ SHRQRSSLAK INIVYQELNY RSVEEAPVYS
VPQLLSAMGS LCSLWFGASV LSLLELLELL LDASALTLVL
GGRRLRRAWF SWPRASPASG ASSIKPEASQ MPPPAGGTSD
DPEPSGPHLP RVMLPGVLAG VSAEESWAGP QPLETLDT
SEQ ID NO: 19
pro for human delta subject DENAE
MAEHRSMDGR MEAATRGGPH LQAAAQTPPR PGPPSAPPPP
PKEGHQEGLV ELPASFRELL TFFCTNATIH GAIRLVCSRG
NRLKTTSWGL LSLGALVALC WQLGLLFERH WHRPVLMAVS
VHSERKLLPL VTLCDGNPRR PSPVLRHLEL LDEFARENID
SLYNVNLSKG RAALSATVPP HEPPFHLDRE IRLQSLSHSG
SRVRVGFRLC NSTGGDCFYR GYTSGVAAVQ DWYHFHYVDI
LALLPAAWED SHGSQDGHFV LSCSYDGLDC QARQFRTFHH
PTYGSCYTVD GVWTAQRPGI THGVGLVLRV EQQPHLPLLS
TLAGIRVMVH GRNHTPFLGH HSFSVRPGTE ATISIREDEV
HRLGSPYGHC TAGGEGVEVE LLHNTSYTRQ ACLVSCFQQL
MVETCSCGYY LHPLPAGAEY CSSARHPAWG HCFYRLYQDL
ETHRLPCTSR CPRPCRESAF KLSTGTSRWP SAKSAGWTLA
TLGEQGLPHQ SHRQRSSLAK INIVYQELNY RSVEEAPVYS
VPQLLSAMGS LCSLWFGASV LSLLELLELL LDASALTLVL
GGRRLRRAWF SWPRASPASG ASSIKPEASQ MPPPAGGTSD
DPEPSGPHLP RVMLPGVLAG VSAEESWAGP QPLETLDK
SEQ ID NO: 20
pro for human delta subject DENACG
MAEHRSMDGR MEAATRGGPH LQAAAQTPPR PGPPSAPPPP
PKEGHQEGLV ELPASFRELL TFFCTNATIH GAIRLVCSRG
NRLKTTSWGL LSLGALVALC WQLGLLFERH WHRPVLMAVS
VHSERKLLPL VTLCDGNPRR PSPVLRHLEL LDEFARENID
SLYNVNLSKG RAALSATVPR HEPPFHLDRE IRLQRLSHSG
SRVRVGFRLC NSTGGDCFYR GYTSGVAAVQ DWYHFHYVDI
LALLPAAWED SHGSQDGHFV LSCSYDGLDC QARQFRTFHH
PTYGSCYTVD GVWTAQRPGI THGVGLVLRV EQQPHLPLLS
TLAGIRVMVH GRNHTPFLGH HSFSVRPGTE ATISIREDEV
HRLGSPYGHC TAGGEGVEVE LLHNTSYTRQ ACLVSCFQQL
MVETCSCGYY LHPLPAGAEY CSSARHPAWG HCFYRLYQDL
ETHRLPCTSR CPRPCRESAF KLSTGTSRWP SAKSAGWTLA
TLGEQGLPHQ SHRQRSSLAK INIVYQGLNY RSVEEAPVYS
VPQLLSAMGS LCSLWFGASV LSLLELLELL LDASALTLVL
GGRRLRRAWF SWPRASPASG ASSIKPEASQ MPPPAGGTSD
DPEPSGPHLP RVMLPGVLAG VSAEESWAGP QPLETLDT
SEQ ID NO: 21
pro for human delta subject DENACH
MAEHRSMDGR MEAATRGGSH LQAAAQTPPR PGPPSAPPPP
PKEGHQEGLV ELPASFRELL TFFCTNATIH GTIRLVCSRG
NRLKTTSWGL LSLGALVALC WQLGLLFERH WHRPVLMAVS
VHSERKLLPL VTLCDGNPRR PSPVLRHLEL LDEFARENID
SLYNVNLSKG RAALSATVPP HEPPFHLDRE IRLQRLSHSG
SRVRVGFRLC NSTGGDCFYR GYTSGVAAVQ DWYHFHYVDI
LALLPAAWED SHGSQDGHFV LSCSYDGLDC QARQFRTFHH
PTYGSCYTVD GVWTAQRPGI THGVGLVLRV EQQPHLPLLS
TLAGIRVMVH GRNHTPFLGH HSFSVRPGTE ATISIREDEV
HRLGSPYGHC TAGGEGVEVQ LLHNTSYTRQ ACLVSCFQQL
MVETCSCGYY LHPLPAGAEY CSSARHPAWG HCFYRLYRDL
ETHRLPCTSR CPRPCRESAF KLSTGTSRWP SAKSAGWTLA
TLGEQGLPHQ SHRQRSSLAK INIVYQELNY RSVEEAPVYS
VPQLLSAMGS LCSLWFGASV LSLLELLELL LDASALTLVL
GGRRLRRAWF SWPRASPASG ASSIKPEAGQ MPPPAGGTSD
DPEPSGPHLP RVMLPGVLAG VSAEESWAGP QPLETLDT
SEQ ID NO: 22
pro for human delta subject DENACI
MAEHRSMDGR MEAATRGGSH LQAAAQTPPR PGPPSAPPPP
PKEGHQEGLV ELPASFRELL TFFCTNATIH GAIRLVCSRG
NRLKTTSWGL LSLGALVALC WQLGLLFERH WHRPVLMAVS
VHSERKLLPL VTLCDGNPRR PSPVLRHLEL LDEFARENID
SLYNVNLSKG RAALSATVPR HEPPFHLDRE IRLQRLSHSG
SRVRVGFRLC NSTGGDCFYR GYTSGVAAVQ DWYHFHYVDI
LALLPAAWED SHGSQDGHFV LSCSYDGLDC QARQFRTFHH
PTYGSCYTVD GVWTAQRPGI THGVGLVLRV EQQPHLPLLS
TLAGIRVMVH GRNHTPFLGH HSFSVRPGTE ATISIREDEV
HRLGSPYGHC TAGGEGVEVE LLHNTSYTRQ ACLVSCFQQL
MVETCSCGYY LHPLPAGAEY CSSARHPAWG HCFYRLYQDL
ETHRLPCTSR CPRPCRESAF KLSTGTSRWP SAKSAGWTLA
TLGEQGLPHQ GHRQRSSLAK INIVYQELNY RSVEEAPVYS
VPQLLSAMGS LCSLWFGASV LSLLELLELL LDASALTLVL
GGRRLRRAWF SWPRASPASG ASSIKPEASQ MPPPAGGTSD
DPEPSGPHLP RVMLPGVLAG VSAEESWAGP QPLETLDT
SEQ ID NO: 23
pro for human delta subject DENACJ
MAEHRSMDGR MEAATRGGSH LQAAAQTPPR PGPPSAPPPP
PKEGHQEGLV ELPASFRELL TFFCTNATIH GAIRLVCSRG
NRLKTTSWGL LSLGALVALC WQLGLLFERH WHRPVLMAVS
VHSERKLLPL VTLCDGNPRR PSPVLRHLEL LDEFARENID
SLYNVNLSKG RAALSATVPP HEPPFHLDRE IRLQRLSHSG
SRVRVGFRLC NSTGGDCFYR GYTSGVAAVQ DWYHFHYVDI
LALLPAAWED SHGSQDGHFV LSCSYDGLDC QARQFRTFHH
PTYGSCYTVD GVWTAQRPGI THGVGLVLRV EQQPHLPLLS
TLAGIRVMVH GRNHTPFLGH HSFSVRPGTE ATISIREDEV
HRLGSPYGHC TAGGEGVEVQ PLHNTSYTRQ ACLVSCFQQL
MVETCSCGYY LHPLPAGAEY CSSARHPAWG HCFYRLYQDL
ETHRLPCTSR CPRPCRESAF KLSTGTSRWP SAKSAGWTLA
TLGEQGLPHQ SHRQRSSLAK INIVYQELNY RSVEEAPVYS
VPQLLSAMGS LCSLWFGASV LSLLELLELL LDASALTLVL
GGRRLRRAWF SWPRASPASG ASSIKPEASQ MPPPAGGTSD
DPEPSGPHLP RVMLPGVLAG VSAEESWAGP QPLETLDT
SEQ ID NO: 24
pro for human delta subject DENACT
MAEHRSMDGR MEAATRGGSH LQAAAQTPPR PGPPSAPPPP
PKEGHQEGLV ELPASFRELL TFFCTNATIH GAIRLVCSRG
NRLKTTSWGL LSLGALVALC WQLGLLFERH WHRPVLMAVS
VHSERKLLPL VTLCDGNPRR PSPVLRHLEL LDEFARENID
SLYSVNLSKG RAALSATVPR HEPPFHLDRE IRLQRLSHSG
SRVRVGFRLC NSTGGDCFYR GYTSGVAAVQ DWYHFHYVDI
LALLPAAWED SHGSQDGHFV LSCSYDGLDC QARQFRTFHH
PTYGSCYTVD GVWTAQRPGI THGVGLVLRV EQQPHLPLLS
TLAGIRVMVH GRNHTPFLGH HSFSVRPGTE ATISIREDEV
HRLGSPYGHC TAGGEGVEVE LLHNTSYTRQ PCLVSCFQQL
MVETCSCGYY LHPLPAGAEY CSSARHPAWG HCFYRLYQDL
ETHRLPCTSR CPRPCRESAF KLSTGTSRWP SAKSAGWTLA
TLGEQGLPHQ SHRQRSSLAK INIVYQELNY RSVEEAPVYS
VPQLLSAMGS LCSLWFGASV LSLLELLELL LDASALTLVL
GGRRLRRAWF SWPRASPASG ASSIKPEASQ MPPPAGGTSD
DPEPSGPHLP RVMLPGVLAG VSAEESWAGP QPLETLDT
SEQ ID NO: 25
pro for human delta subject DENACV
MAEHRSMDGR MEAATRGGSH LQAAAQTPPR PGPPSAPPPP
PKEGHQEGLV ELPASFRELL TFFCTNATIH GAIRLVCSRG
NRLKTTSWGL LSLGALVALC WQLGLLFERH WHRPVLMAVS
VHSERKLLPL VTLCDGNPRR PSPVLRHLEL LDEFARENID
SLYNVNLSKG RAALSATVPR HEPPFHLDRE IRLQRLSHSG
SRVRVGFRLC NSTGGDCFYR GYTSGVAAVQ DWYHFHYVDI
LALLPAAWED SHGSQDGHFV LSCSYDGLDC QARQFRTFHH
PTYGSCYTVD GVWTAQRPGI THGVGLVLRV EQQPHLPLLS
TLAGIRVMVH GRNHTPFLGH HSFSVRPGTE ATISIREDEV
HRLGSPYGHC TAGGEGVEVE LLHNTSYTRQ ACLVSCFQQL
MVETCSCGYY LHPLPAGAEY CGSARHPAWG HCFYRLYQDL
ETHRLPCTSR CPRPCRESAF KLSTGTSRWP SAKSAGWTLA
TLGEQGLPHQ SHRQRSSLAK INIVYQELNY RSVEEAPVYS
VPQLLSAMGS LCSLWFGASV LSLLELLELL LDASALTLVL
GGRRLRRAWF SWPRASPASG ASSIKPEASQ MPPPAGGTSD
DPEPSGPHLP RVMLPGVLAG VSAEESWAGP QPLETLDT
SEQ ID NO: 26
pro for human delta subject DENACW
MAEHRSMDGR MEAATRGGSH LQAAAQTPPR PGPPSAPPPP
PKEGHQEGLV ELPASFRELL TFFCTNATIH GAIRLVCSRG
NRLKTTSWGL LSLGALVALC WQLGLLFERH WHRPVLMAVS
VHSERKLLPL VTLCDGNPRR PSPVLRHLEL LDEFARENID
SLYNVNLSKG RAALSATVPR HEPPFHLDRE IRLQRLSHSG
SRVRVGFRLC NSTGGDCFYR GYTSGVAAVQ DWYHFHYVDI
LALLPAAWED SHGSQDGHFV LSCSYDGLDC QARQFRTIHH
PTYGSCYTVD GVWTAQRPGI THGVGLVLRV EQQPHLPLLS
TLAGIRVMVH GRNHTPFLGH HSFSVRPGTE ATIRIREDEV
HRLGSPYGHC TAGGEGVEVE LLHNTSYTRQ ACLVSCFQQL
MVETCSCGYY LHPLPAGAEY CSSARHPAWG HCFYRLYQDL
ETHRLPCTSR CPRPCRESAF KLSTGTSRWP SAKSAGWTLA
TLGEQGLPHQ SHRQRSSLAK INIVYQELNY RSVEEAPVYS
VPQLLSAMGS LCSLWFGASV LSLLELLELL LDASALTLVL
GGRRLHRAWF SWPRASPASG ASSIKPEASQ MPPPAGGTSD
DPEPSGPHLP RVMLPGVLAG VSAEESWAGP QPLETLDT
SEQ ID NO: 27
pro for human gamma subject GENACA
MAPGEKIKAK IKKNLPVTGP QAPTIKELMR WYCLNTNTHG
CRRIVVSRGR LRRLLWIGFT LTAVALILWQ CALLVFSFYT
VSVSIKVHFR KLDFPAVTIC NINPYKYSTV RHLLADLEQE
TREALKSLYG FPESRKRREA ESWNSVSEGK QPRFSHRIPL
LIFDQDEKGK ARDFFTGRKR KVGGSIIHKA SNVMHIESKQ
VVGFQLCSND TSDCATYTFS SGINAIQEWY KLHYMNIMAQ
VPLEKKINMS YSAEELLVTC FFDGVSCDAR NFTLFHHPMH
GNCYTFNNRE NETILSTSMG GSEYGLQVIL YINEEEYNPF
LVSSTGAKVI IHRQDEYPFV EDVGTEIETA MVTSIGMHLT
ESFKLSEPYS QCTEDGSDVP IRNIYNAAYS LQICLHSCFQ
TKMVEKCGCA QYSQPLPPAA NYCNYQQHPN WMYCYYQLHR
AFVQEELGCQ SVCKEACSFK EWTLTTSLAQ WPSVVSEKWL
LPVLTWDQGR QVNKKLNKTD LAKLLIFYKD LNQRSIMESP
ANSIEMLLSN FGGQLGLWMS CSVVCVIEII EVFFIDFFSI
IARRQWQKAK EWWAWKQAPP CPEAPRSPQG QDNPALDIDD
DLPTFNSALH LPPALGTQVP GTPPPKYNTL RLERAFSNQL
TDTQMLDEL
SEQ ID NO: 28
pro for human gamma subject GENACB
MAPGEKIKAK IKKNLPVTGP QAPTIKELMR WYCLNTNTHG
CRRIVVSRGR LRRLLWIGFT LTAVALILWQ CALLVFSFYT
VSVSIKVNFR KLDFPAVTIC NINPYKYSTV RHLLADLEQE
TREALKSLYG FPESRKRREA ESWNSVSEGK QPRFSHRIPL
LIFDQDEKGK ARDFFTGRKR KVGGSIIHKA SNVMHIESKQ
VVGFQLCSND TSDCATYTFS SGINAIQEWY KLHYMNIMAQ
VPLEKKINMS YSAEELLVTC FFDGVSCDAR NFTLFHHPMH
GNCYTFNNRE NETILSTSMG GSEYGLQVIL YINEEEYNPF
LVSSTGAKVI IHRQDEYPFV EDVGTEIETA MVTSIGMHLT
ESFKLSEPYS QCTEDGSDVP IRNIYNAAYS LQICLHSCFQ
TKMVEKCGCA QYSQPLPPAA NYCNYQQHPN WMYCYYQLHR
AFVQEELGCQ SVCKEACSFK EWTLTTSLAQ WPSVVSEKWL
LPVLTWDQGR QVNKKLNKTD LAKLLIFYKD LNQRSIMESP
ANSIEMLLSN FGGQLGLWMS CSVVCVIEII EVFFIDFFSI
IARRQWQKAK EWWAWKQAPP CPEAPRSPQG QDNPALDIDD
DLPTFNSALH LPPALGTQVP GTPPPKYNTL RLERAFSNQL
TDTQMLDEL
SEQ ID NO: 29
pro for human gamma subject GENACD
MAPGEKIKAK IKKNLPVTGP QAPTIKELMR WYCLNTNTHG
CRRIVVSRGR LRRLLWIGFT LTAVALILWQ CALLVFSFYT
VSVSIKVHFR KLDFPAVTIC NINPYKYSTV RHLLADLEQE
TREALKSLYG FPESRKRREA ESWNSVSEGK QPRFSHRIPL
LIFDQDEKGK ARDFFTGRKR KVGGSIIHKA SNVMHIESKQ
VVGFQLCSND TSDCATYTFS SGINAIQEWY KLHYMNIMAQ
VPLEKKINMS YSAEELLVTC FFDGVSCDAR NFTLFHHPMH
GNCYTFNNRE NETILSTSMG GSEYGLQVIL YINEEEYNPF
LVSSTGAKVI IHRQDEYPFV EDVGTEIETA MVTSIGMHLT
ESFKLSEPYS QCTEDGSDVP IRNIYNAAYS LQICLHSCFQ
TKMVEKCGCA QYSQPLPPAA NYCNYQQHPN WMYCYYQLHR
AFVQEELGCQ SVCKEACSFK EWTLTTSLAQ WPSVVSEKWL
LPVLTWDQGR QVNKKLNKTD LAKLLIFYKD LNQRSIMESP
ANSIEMLLSN FGGQLGLWMS CSVVCVIEII EVFFIDFFSI
IARRQWQKAK EWWAWKQAPP CPEAPRSPQG QDNPALDIDD
DLPTFNSALH LPPALGTQVP GTPPPKYNTL RLERAFSNQL
TDTQMLDEL
SEQ ID NO: 30
pro for human gamma subject GENACE
MAPGEKIKAK IKKNLPVTGP QAPTIKELMR WYCLNTNTHG
CRRIVVSRGR LRRLLWIGFT LTAVALILWQ CALLVFSFYT
VSVSIKVHFR KLDFPAVTIC NINPYKYSTV RHLLADLEQE
TREALKSLYG FPESRKRREA ESWNSVSEGK QPRFSHRIPL
LIFDQDEKGE ARDFFTGRKR KVGGSIIHKA SNVMHIESKQ
VVGFQLCSND TSDCATYTFS SGINAIQEWY KLHYMNIMAQ
VPLEKKINMS YSAEELLVTC FFDGVSCDAR NFTLFHHPMH
GNCYTFNNRE NETILSTSMG GSEYGLQVIL YINEEEYNPF
LVSSTGAKVI IHRQDEYPFV EDVGTEIETA MVTSIGMHLT
ESFKLSEPYS QCTEDGSDVP IRNIYNAAYS LQICLHSCFQ
TKMVEKCGCA QYSQPLPPAA NYCNYQQHPN WMYCYYQLHR
AFVQEELGCQ SVCKEACSFK EWTLTTSLAQ WPSVVSEKWL
LPVLTWDQGR QVNKKLNKTD LAKLLIFYKD LNQRSIMESP
ANSIEMLLSN FGGQLGLWMS CSVVCVIEII EVFFIDFFSI
IARRQWQKAK EWWAWKQAPP CPEAPRSPQG QDNPALDIDD
DLPTFNSALH LPPALGTQVP STPPPKYNTL RLERAFSNQL
TDTQMLDEL
SEQ ID NO: 31
pro for human gamma subject GENACG
MAPGEKIKAK IKKNLPVTGP QAPTIKELMR WYCLNTNTHG
CRRIVVSRGR LRRLLWIGFT LTAVALILWQ CALLVFSFYA
VSVSIKVHFR KLDFPAVTIC NINPYKYSTV RHLLADLEQE
TREALKSLYG FPESRKRREA ESWNSVSEGK QPRFSHRIPL
LIFDQDEKGK ARDFFTGRKR KVGGSIIHKA SNVMHIESKQ
VVGFQLCSND TSDCATYTFS SGINAIQEWY KLHYMNIMAQ
VPLEKKINMS YSAEELLVTC FFDGVSCDAR NFTLFHHPMH
GNCYTFNNRE NETILSTSMG GSEYGLQVIL YINEEEYNPF
LVSSTGAKVI IHRQDEYPFV EDVGTEIETA MVTSIGMHLT
ESFKLSEPYS QCTEDGSDVP IRNIYNAAYS LQICLHSCFQ
TKMVEKCGCA QYSQPLPPAA NYCNYQQHPN WMYCYYQLHR
AFVQEELGCQ SVCKEACSFK EWTLTTSLAQ WPSVVSEKWL
LPVLTWDQGR QVNKKLNKTD LAKLLIFYKD LNQRSIMESP
ANSIEMLLSN FGGQLGLWMS CSVVCVIEII EVFFIDFFSI
TARRQWQKAK EWWAWKQAPP CPEAPRSPQG QDNPALDIDD
DLPTFNSALH LPPALGTQVP GTPPPKYNTL RLERAFSNSL
TDTQMLDEL
SEQ ID NO: 32
pro for human gamma subject GENACH
MAPGEKIKAK IKKNLPVTGP QAPTIKELMR WYCLNTNTHG
CRRIVVSRGR LRRLLWIGFT LTAVALILWQ CALLVFSFYT
VSVSIKVHFR KLDFPAVTIC NINPYKYSTV RHLLADLEQE
TREALKSLYG FPESRKRREA ESWNSVSEGK QPRFSHRIPL
LIFDQDEKGK ARDFFTGRKR KVGGSIIHKA SNVMHIESKQ
VVGFQLCSND TSDCATYTFS SGINAIQEWY KLHYMNIMAQ
VPLEKKINMS YSAEELLVTC FFDGVSCDAR NFTLFHHPMH
GNCYTFNNRE NETILSTSMG GSEYGLQVIL YINEEEYNPF
LVSSTGAKVI IHRQDEYPFV EDVGTEIETA MVTSIGMHLT
ESFKLSEPYS QCTEDGSDVP IRNIYNAAYS LQICLHSCFQ
TKMVEKCGCA QYSQPLPPAA NYCNYQQHPN WMYCYYQLHR
AFVQEELGCQ SVCKEACSFK EWTLTTSLAQ WPSVVSEKWL
LPVLTWDQGR QVNKKLNKTD LAKLLIFYKD LNQRSIMESP
ANSIEMLLSN FGGQLGLWMS CSVVCVIEII EVFFIDFFSI
IARRQWQKAK EWWAWKQAPP CPEAPRSPQG QDNPALDIDD
GLPTFNSALH LPPALGTQVP GTPPPKYNTL RLERAFSNQL
TDTQMLDEL
SEQ ID NO: 33
pro for human gamma subject GENACJ
MAPGEKIKAK IKKNLPVTGP QAPTIKELMR WYCLNTNTHG
CRRIVVSRGR LRRLLWIGFT LTAVALILWQ CALLVFSFYT
VSVSIKVHFR KLDFPAVTIC NINPYKYSTV RHLLADLEQE
TREALKSLYG FPESRKRREA ESWNSVSEGK QPRFSHRIPP
LIFDQDEKGK ARDFFTGRKR KVGGSIIHKA SNVMHIESKQ
VVGFQLCSND TSDCATYTFS LGINAIQEWY KLHYMNIMAQ
VPLEKKINMS YSAEELLVTC FFDGVSCDAR NFTLFHHPMH
GNCYTFNNRE NETILSTSMG GSEYGLQVIL YINEEEYNPF
LVSSTGAKVI IHRQDEYPFV EDVGTEIETA MVTSIGMHLT
ESFKLSEPYS QCTEDGSDVP IRNIYNAAYS LQICLHSCFQ
TKMVEKCGCA QYSQPLPPAA NYCNYQQHPN WMYCYYQLHR
AFVQEELGCQ SVCKEACSLK EWTLTTSLAQ WPSVVSEKWL
LPVLTWDQGR QVNKKLNKTD LAKLLIFYKD LNQRSIMESP
ANSIEMLLSN FGGQLGLWMS CSVVCVIEII EVFFIDFFSI
TARRQWQKAK EWWAWKQAPP CPEAPRSPQG QDNPALDIDD
DLPTFNSALH LPPALGTQVP GTPPPKYNTL RLERAFSNQL
TDTQMLDEL
SEQ ID NO: 34
pro for human gamma subject GENACT
MAPGEKIKAK IKKNLPVTGP QAPTIKELMR WYCLNTNTHG
CRRIVVSRGR LRRLLWIGFT LTAVALILWQ CALLVFSFYT
VSVSIKVHFR KLDFPAVTIC NINPYKYSTV RHLLADLEQE
TREALKSLYG FPESRKRREA ESWNSVSEGK QPRFSHRIPL
LIFDQDEKGK ARDFFTGRKR KVGGSIIHKA SNVMHIESKQ
VVGFQLCSND TSDCATYTFS SGINAIQEWY KLHYMNIMAQ
VPLEKKINMS YSAEELLVTC FFDGVSCDAR NFTLFHHPMH
GNCYTFNNRE NETILSTSMG GSEYGLQVIL YINEEEYNPF
LVSSTGAKVI IHRQDEYPFV EDVGTEIETA MVTSIGMHLT
ESFKLSEPYS QCTEDGSDVP IRNIYNAAYS LQICLHSCFQ
TKMVEKCGCA QYSQPLPPAA NYCNYQQHPN WMYCYYQLHR
AFVQEELGCQ SVCKEACSFK EWTLTTSLAQ WPSVVSEKWL
LPVLTWDQGR QVNKKLNKTD LAKLLIFYKD LNQRSIMESP
ANSIEMLLSN FGGQLGLWMS CSVVCVIEII EVFFIDFFSI
IARRQWQKAK EWWAWKQAPP CPEAPRSPQG QDNPALDIDD
DLPTFNSALH LPPALGTQVP GTPPPKYNTL RLERAFSNQL
TDTQMLDEL
SEQ ID NO: 35
pro for human gamma subject GENACV
MAPGEKIKAK IKKNLPVTGP QAPTIKELMR WYCLNTNTHG
CRRIVVSRGR LRRLLWIGFT LTAVALILWQ CALLVFSFYT
VSVSIKVHFR KLDFPAVTIC NINPYKYSTV RHLLADLEQE
TREALKSLYG FPESRKRREA ESWNSVSEGK QPRFSHRIPL
LIFDQDEKGK ARDFFTGRKR KVGGSIIHKA SNVMHIESKQ
VVGFQLCSND TSDCATYTFS SGINAIQEWY KLHYMNIMAQ
VPLEKKINMS YSAEELLVTC FFDGVSCDAR NFTLFHHPMH
GNCYTFNNRE NETILSTSMG GSEYGLQVIL YINEEEYNPF
LVSSTGAKVI IHRQDEYPFV EDVGTEIETA MVTSIGMHLT
ESFKLSEPYS QCTEDGSDVP IRNIYNAAYS LQICLHSCFQ
TKMVEKCGCA QYSQPLPPAA NYCNYQQHPN WMYCYYQLHR
AFVQEELGCQ SVCKEACSFK EWTLTTSLAQ WPSVVSEKWL
LPVLTWDQGR QVNKKLNKTD LAKLLIFYKD LNQRSIMESP
ANSIEMLLSN FGGQLGLWMS CSVVCVIEII EVFFIDFFSI
IARRQWQKAK EWWAWKQAPP CPEAPRSPQG QDNPALDIDD
DLPTFNSALH LPPALGTQVP GTPPPKYNTL RLERAFSNQL
TDTQMLDEL
SEQ ID NO: 36
pro for human gamma subject GENACW
MAPGEKIKAK IKKNLPVTGP QAPTIKELMR WYCLNTNTHG
CRRIVVSRGR LRRLLWIGFT LTAVALILRQ CALLVFSFYT
VSVSIKVHFR KLDFPAVTIC NINPYKYSTV RHLLADLEQE
TREALKSLYG FPESRKRREA ESWNSVSEGK QPRFSHRIPL
LIFDQDEKGK ARDFFTGRKR KVGGSIIHKA SNVMHIESKQ
VVGFQLCSND TSDCATYTFS SGINAIQEWY KLHYMNIMAQ
VPLEKKINMS YSAEELLVTC FFDGVSCDAR NFTLFHHPMH
GNCYTFNNRE NETILSTSMG GSEYGLQVIL YINEEEYNPF
LVSSTGAKVI IHRQDEYPFV EDVGTEIETA MVTSIGMHLT
ESFKLSEPYS QCTEDGSDVP IRNIYNAAYS LQICLHSCFQ
TKMVEKCGCA QYSQPLPPAA NYCNYQQHPN WMYCYYQLHR
AFVQEELGCQ SVCKEACSFK EWTLTTSLAQ WPSVVSEKWL
LPVLTWDQGR QVNKKLNKTD LAKLLIFYKD LNQRSIMESP
ANSIEMLLSN FGGQLGLWMS CSVVCVIEII EVFFIDFFSI
IARRQWQKAK EWWAWKQAPP CPEAPRSPQG QDNPALDIDD
DLPTFNSALH LPPALGTQVP GTPPPKYNTL RLERAFSNQL
TDTQMLDEL