Prof. Michael Naim

Main research interests:

The biochemistry and physiology of the chemical senses and their relevance to food and nutrition.

Specific topics:

1. Sweet and bitter taste transduction
2. Signal termination of taste: the role of signal termination-related kinases
3. Cross-talk between G Protein-coupled receptors and ERK.
4. Chemical pathways for aroma formation in food.


Sweet and bitter tastants stimulate the G protein-coupled taste receptors (GPCRs) T1R/T2Rs, which occur in the oral cavity as well as along the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, some sweet and bitter tastants rapidly permeate into isolated taste-bud cells in situ into taste-bud cells in vivo and into various epithelial cells ex vivo. Interestingly, the same tastants inhibited the phosphoryaltion of rhodopsin induced by GPRC kinases (GRK) and prortein kinase A (PKA) in vitro. These results propose that membrane-permenat tastants can potentially interfere with the desensitization of GPCRs by interacting with these signal termination-related kinases. Furthermore, they may have implications to the lingering aftertaste produced in humans after tasting such bitter tastants and artificial sweeteners.


See also: Micha_Naim

List of Publications

Selected publications

  1. Zubare-Samuelov M, Peri I, Tal M, Tarshish M, Spielman AI, Naim M (2003). Some sweet and bitter tastants stimulate inhibitory pathway of adenylyl cyclase via melatonin and a2-adrenergic receptors in Xenopus laevismelanophores. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 285: C1255-C1262.
  2. Mahattanatawee K, Rouseff RL, Valim, F. Naim  M (2005). Identification and aroma impact norisoprenoids in orange juice. J Agric Food Chem, 53, 393-397.
  3.  Zubare-Samuelov M, Shaul ME, Peri I, Aliluiko A, Tirosh O, Naim M (2005). Inhibition of signal-termination-related kinases by membrane-permeant bitter and sweet tastants: potential role in taste-signal termination. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 289, C483-C492.
  4. Bezman Y, Bilkis I, Winterhalter P, Fleischmann P, Rouseff RL, Baldermann S, Naim M (2005). Thermal oxidation of 9’-cis-neoxanthin in a model system containing peroxyacetic acid leads to the potent odorant b-damascenone. . J Agric Food Chem, 53, 9199-9206.
  5. Naim M, Huang L, Spielman AI, Shaul ME, Aliluiko A (2006). Stimulation of taste cells by sweet taste. In: Optimising Sweet Taste in Foods. Spillane WJ Ed. Woodhead Pub Ltd. CRC Press Boca Raton, pp 3-29.
  6. Naim M, Shaul ME, Spielman AI, Huang L, Peri I (2008). Permeation of amphipathic sweeteners into taste-bud cells and their interactions with post-receptor signaling components: possible implications for sweet-taste quality. In: Sweetness and Sweeteners: Biology, Chemistry and Psychophysics; ACS Symposium Series 979; Editors, Weerasinghe DK, DuBois GE; American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, pp 241-255.  


See also: Micha_Naim