Bitterness prediction in-silico: A step towards better drugs

Malkeet Singh Bahia, Ido Nissim, Masha Y. Niv*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Bitter taste is innately aversive and thought to protect against consuming poisons. Bitter taste receptors (Tas2Rs) are G-protein coupled receptors, expressed both orally and extra-orally and proposed as novel targets for several indications, including asthma. Many clinical drugs elicit bitter taste, suggesting the possibility of drugs re-purposing. On the other hand, the bitter taste of medicine presents a major compliance problem for pediatric drugs. Thus, efficient tools for predicting, measuring and masking bitterness of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are required by the pharmaceutical industry. Here we highlight the BitterDB database of bitter compounds and survey the main computational approaches to prediction of bitter taste based on compound's chemical structure. Current in silico bitterness prediction methods provide encouraging results, can be constantly improved using growing experimental data, and present a reliable and efficient addition to the APIs development toolbox.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)526-529
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 5 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Bitterness
  • GPCRs
  • Pediatric drugs
  • Prediction
  • Promiscuity
  • Tas2Rs
  • Taste receptors
  • in-silico


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