The BTBR T+ tf/J (BTBR) mouse strain is indifferent to exemplars of sweet, Polycose, umami, bitter, and calcium tastes, which share in common transduction by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). To investigate the genetic basis for this taste dysfunction, we screened 610 BTBR×NZW/LacJ F2 hybrids, identified a potent QTL on chromosome 17, and isolated this in a congenic strain. Mice carrying the BTBR/BTBR haplotype in the 0.8-Mb (21-gene) congenic region were indifferent to sweet, Polycose, umami, bitter, and calcium tastes. To assess the contribution of a likely causative culprit, Itpr3, the inositol triphosphate receptor 3 gene, we produced and tested Itpr3 knockout mice. These were also indifferent to GPCR-mediated taste compounds. Sequencing the BTBR form of Itpr3 revealed a unique 12 bp deletion in Exon 23 (Chr 17: 27238069; Build 37). We conclude that a spontaneous mutation of Itpr3 in a progenitor of the BTBR strain produced a heretofore unrecognized dysfunction of GPCR-mediated taste transduction.
Keywords: NZW/LacJ; QTL; bitter; sweet; umami.