Contact Information

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Yuzo Ninomiya


Adjunct Member, Monell Chemical Senses Center
Distinguished Professor, Section of Oral Neuroscience, Graduate School of Dental Sciences, Division of Sensory Physiology, Research Development Center for Taste and Odor Sensing, Kyushu University


PhD, Animal Physiology, Nagoya University
MD Sci, Physiology, Nagoya City University

Research Summary

Using electrophysiology and molecular biology we are seeking to understand the coding mechanisms underlying salty, umami (savory) and sweet taste qualities. We are also studying how hormones regulate taste responses. My group has found that hormones including leptin and endocannabinoids modulate peripheral sweet taste responses. Our studies show that modulation of peripheral sweet taste signaling by hormones likely contributes to the regulation of ingestive behavior.


Taste, molecular genetics, cellular physiology, neurophysiology, behavioral physiology, taste reception, taste transduction, taste transmission, taste modulation, metabolic syndrome, obesity

Recent Publications

Jyotaki M, Sanematsu K, Shigemura N, Yoshida R, Ninomiya Y. (2016) Leptin suppresses sweet taste responses of enteroendocrine STC-1 cells. Neuroscience, 332, 76-87.

Goto TK, Yeung AW, Tanabe HC, Ito Y, Jung HS, Ninomiya Y. (2016) Enhancement of Combined Umami and Salty Taste by Glutathione in the Human Tongue and Brain. Chemical Senses, 41, 623-630.

Sukumaran SK, Yee KK, Iwata S, Kotha R, Quezada-Calvillo R, Nichols BL, Mohan S, Pinto BM, Shigemura N, Ninomiya Y, Margolskee RF.(2016) Taste cell-expressed α-glucosidase enzymes contribute to gustatory responses to disaccharides.
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 113, 6035-6040.

Sanematsu K, Kitagawa M, Yoshida R, Nirasawa S, Shigemura N, Ninomiya Y. (2016) Intracellular acidification is required for full activation of the sweet taste receptor by miraculin. Scientific Reports, 6, 22807. doi: 10.1038/srep22807.

Shigemura N, Ninomiya Y. (2016) Recent Advances in Molecular Mechanisms of Taste Signaling and Modifying. International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology, 323, 71-106.

Yoshida R, Ninomiya Y. (2016) Taste information derived from T1R-expressing taste cells in mice. Biochemical Journal, 473, 525-536.

Yoshida R, Noguchi K, Shigemura N, Jyotaki M, Takahashi I, Margolskee RF, Ninomiya Y. (2015) Leptin suppresses mouse taste cell responses to sweet compounds. Diabetes, 64, 3751-3762.

Niki M, Jyotaki M, Yoshida R, Yasumatsu K, Shigemura N, DiPatrizio NV, Piomelli D, Ninomiya Y. (2015) Modulation of sweet taste sensitivities by endogenous leptin and endocannabinoids in mice. Journal of Physiology (Lond), 593, 2527-2545.

Takai S, Yasumatsu K, Inoue M, Iwata S, Yoshida T, Shigemura N, Yanagawa Y, Drucker DJ, Margolskee RF, Ninomiya Y. (2015) Glucagon-like peptide-1 is specifically involved in sweet transmission. FASEB J, 29, 2268-2280.

Yasumatsu K, Manabe T, Yoshida R, Iwatsuki K, Uneyama H, Takahashi I, Ninomiya Y. (2015) Involvement of multiple taste receptors in umami taste: analysis of gustatory nerve responses in metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 knockout mice. Journal of Physiology (Lond), 593, 1021-1034.

Sanematsu K, Kusakabe Y, Shigemura N, Hirokawa T, Nakamura S, Imoto T, Ninomiya Y. (2014) Molecular mechanisms of sweet-suppressing effect of gymnemic acids. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 61, 797-805.

Shigemura N, Iwata S, Yasumatsu K, Ohkuri T, Horio N, Sanematsu K, Yoshida R, Margolskee RF, Ninomiya Y. (2013) Angiotensin II modulates salty and sweet taste sensitivities. Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 6267-6277.

Kusuhara Y, Yoshida R, Ohkuri T, Yasumatsu K, Voigt A, Hubner S, Maeda K, Boehm U, Meyerhof W, Ninomiya Y. (2013) Taste responses in mice lacking taste receptor subunit T1R1. Journal of Physiology (Lond), 591, 1967-1985.