We have previously shown that l-glucose, the non-caloric enantiomer of d-glucose, activates the human sweet taste receptor T1R2/T1R3 transiently expressed in HEK293T cells. Here, we show that d- and l-glucose can also activate T1R2 and T1R3 expressed without the counterpart monomer. Serine mutation to alanine in residue 147 in the binding site of T1R3 VFT domain, completely abolishes T1R3S147A activation by either l- or d-glucose, while T1R2/T1R3S147A responds in the same way as T1R2 expressed without its counterpart. We further show that the original T1R2 reference sequence (NM_152232.1) is less sensitive by almost an order of magnitude than the reference sequence at the time this study was performed (NM_152232.4). We find that out of the four differing positions, it is the R317G in the VFT domain of T1R2, that is responsible for this effect in vitro. It is significant for both practical assay sensitivity and because glycine is found in this position in ~20% of the world population. While the effects of the mutations and the partial transfections were similar for d and l enantiomers, their dose–response curves remained distinct, with l-glucose reaching an early plateau.

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