In vertebrates, among the five basic taste qualities, the bitter taste sensation plays an important role for the rejection of potentially harmful food sources and therefore it is considered essential for survival. Bitter taste signaling networks are highly complex and tightly regulated. They are G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR, called TAS2R) and regulate essential functions in the body. Studying the signaling processes regulated by TAS2Rs is critical for the understanding of chemosensation and beyond and for the assessment of potential therapeutic options involving bitter substances.
My research is focused on investigating bitter taste receptor trafficking in living mammalian cells and in mouse intestinal organoids. An improved receptor-specific heterologous expression assay (in vitro) is being established in order to allow us to study the cell surface localization of TAS2R as well as a live cell monitoring of receptor trafficking in real-time, which enables detailed analyses of acute processes occurring during and after activation.
|2022-Present||Postdoc – Taste & Odor Systems Reception at the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (Leibniz-LSB@TUM)|
|2023||PhD Graduation at the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Saarland University, Homburg, Germany|
|2021-2022||Postdoc – Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Saarland University, Homburg, Germany|
|2018-2021||PhD student – Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Saarland University, Homburg, Germany|
|2016 - 2018||Teaching assistant in Biology at GCI, Sikar, India|
|2015||M.Sc. Graduation in Biotechnology, Faculty III of Natural Sciences, Saarland University, Saarbruecken, Germany|
|2020||Paper of the Month 12/2020 by the Anatomische Gesellschaft|
Studying bitter taste receptor biosynthesis, routing, and function in gustatory and non-gustatory systems
Kumar, P., Redel, U., Lang, T., Korsching, S., and Behrens, M. (2023). Bitter taste receptors of the zebra finch (Taeniopygio guttata). Front. Physiol. 14:1233711.
Behrens, M., and Kumar, P. (2022). Der Süßgeschmack des Menschen. Ein Sinn, auf den wir uns nicht immer verlassen können. Journal culinaire (Kultur und Wissenschaft des Essens). 35:111-117.
Hollenhorst, M.I.*, Kumar, P.*, Zimmer, M., Salah, A., Maxeiner, S., Elhawy, M.I., Evers, S.B., Flockerzi, V., Gudermann, T., Chubanov, V., Boehm, U., and Krasteva-Christ, G. (2022). Taste receptor activation in tracheal brush cells by denatonium modulates ENaC channels via Ca2+, cAMP and ACh. Cells. 11:2411. (*- shared authorship)
Kumar, P., Scholze, P., Fronius, M., Krasteva-Christ, G., and Hollenhorst, M.I. (2020). Nicotine stimulates ion transport via metabotropic β4 subunit containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Br J Pharmacol. 177:5595-5608.
Mukherjee, A., Katiyar, R., Dembla, E., Dembla, M., Kumar, P., Belkacemi, A., Jung, M., Beck, A., Flockerzi, V., Schwarz, K., and Schmitz, F. (2020). Early alterations of presynaptic Ca2+ signaling are associated with photoreceptor synapse malfunctions in the EAE mouse model of multiple sclerosis. iScience. 23(12):101830.