Peculiar change in membrane potential of taste sensor caused by umami substances

Satoru Iiyama, Hidehiko Kuga, Shu Ezaki, Kenshi Hayashi, Kiyoshi Toko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Monosodium glutamate (MSG) induces a favorable taste, termed umami. The action of MSG on lipid membranes of a taste sensor was investigated. In general, food constituents monotonously increase the electric potential of the negatively charged membranes. Contrary to this, MSG decreases the potential at lower concentration and increases it at higher concentration, thus the effect of MSG on lipid membrane is biphasic. On the decrease of the membrane potential, a model was proposed in which the dissociated carboxyl group of MSG accelerates the dissociation of phosphate group of the membrane lipid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-194
Number of pages4
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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