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Home > Introduction of our tenure-track faculties > Kimura Ikuo

Introduction of our tenure-track faculties

Kimura Ikuo

Affiliation Organization for Promotion of Tenure-track System / Institute of Agriculture
Division Division of Applied Biological Science
Research field Molecular Genetics, Pharmacology, Endocrinology
Keyword(S) GPCR, Gut Microbiota, Sex Steroid Hormone, Free Fatty Acid Receptor, Energy Metabolism
Research experience

・2006 - 2007: Research Assistant, Laboratory of Applied Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Chiba Institute of Science.
・2007 - 2008: Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Applied Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Chiba Institute of Science.
・2008 - 2013: Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacogenomics, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University.
・2011 - 2012: Visiting Scholar, Department of Reproductive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego.
・2013-Present: Associate Professor, Department of Applied Biological Science, Graduate School of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology.

Educational background

・2001.03: Faculty of Pharmacy, Kyoto University (Bachelor degree)
・2003.03: Department of Genetic Biochemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University (Master degree)
・2006.03: Department of Genetic Biochemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University (Doctor degree)


・2010: Young Investigator Award in Japanese Society for Circulation Research

Selected papers and publications

・I. Kimura, K. Ozawa, D. Inoue, T. Imamura, K. Kimura, T. Maeda, D. Kashihara, K. Hirano, T. Tani, T. Takahashi, S. Miyauchi, G. Shioi, H. Inoue, and G. Tsujimoto, "The gut microbiota suppresses insulin-mediated fat accumulation via the short-chain fatty acid receptor GPR43", Nature Communications 4, 1829 (2013).
・A. Ichimura, A. Hirasawa, OP. Godefroy, A. Bonnefond, T. Hara, L. Yengo, I. Kimura, A. Leloire, N. Liu, K. Iida, H. Choquet, P. Besnard, C. Lecoeur, S. Vivequin, K. Ayukawa, M. Takeuchi, K. Ozawa, M. Tauber, C. Maffeis, A. Morandi, R. Buzzetti, P. Elliott, A. Pouta, MR. Jarvelin, A. Komer, W. Kiess, M. Pigeyre, R. Cajazzo, W. V. Hul, L. V. Gaal, F. Horber, B. Balkau, C. Levy-Marchal, K. Rouskas, A. Kouvatsi, J. Hebebrand, A. Hinney, A. Scherag, F. Pattou, D. Meyre, TA. Koshimizu, I. Wolowczuk, G. Tsujimoto, and P. Froguel, "Dysfunction of Lipid-sensor GPR120 leads to obesity in both mouse and human.", Nature. 483, 350-354 (2012).
・M. Doi, A. Ishida, A. Miyake, M. Sato, R. Komatsu, F. Yamazaki, I. Kimura, S. Tsuchiya, H. Kori, K. Seo, Y. Yamaguchi, M. Matsuo, JM. Fustin, R. Tanaka, Y. Santo, H. Yamada, Y. Takahashi, M. Araki, K. Nakao, S. Aizawa, M. Kobayashi, K. Obrietan, G. Tsujimoto, and H. Okamura, "Circadian regulation of intracellular G-protein signaling mediates intercellular synchrony and rhythmicity in the suprachiasmatic nucleus.", Nature Communications. 2, 327 (2011).
・I. Kimura, D. Inoue, T. Maeda, T. Hara, A. Ichimura, S. Miyauchi, M. Kobayashi, A. Hirasawa, and G. Tsujimoto, "Short-chain fatty acids and ketones directly regulate sympathetic nervous system via GPR41.", Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 108, 8030-8035 (2011).
・I. Kimura, Y. Nakayama, H. Yamauchi, M. Konishi, A. Miyake, M. Mori, M. Ohta, N. Itoh, and M. Fujimoto, "Neurotrophic Activity of Neudesin, a Novel Extracellular Heme-binding Protein, is Dependent on the Binding of Heme to Its Cytochrome b5-like Heme/steroid-binding Domain.", J Biol Chem. 283, 4323-4331 (2008)

Research Description

Food intake regulates energy balance and its dysregulation leads to metabolic disorder, such as obesity and diabetes. During feeding, gut microbiota affects host nutrient acquisition and energy regulation and can influence the development of obesity and diabetes. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), produced by the gut microbial fermentation of dietary fiber, are recognized not only as host energy sources but also as signal transduction molecules via G-protein coupled receptor GPR41 and GPR43. We discovered that these SCFAs receptors are related to host energy homeostasis, i.e., GPR41 regulates sympathetic activity and GPR43 regulates adipose-insulin signaling by sensing SCFAs provided by gut microbiota. These further studies are expected to represent a central mechanism to account for the effects of diet and probiotics on bodily homeostasis, and suggest a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of metabolic syndromes such as obesity and diabetes.

About TUAT's tenure-track program

The Tenure Track Program in TUAT provides me a good research environment because it provides me a sufficient fund, independent laboratory, good advice from senior researcher, and reduction of the load of education and committee work.

Future aspirations

I plan to elucidate the host energy regulation mechanism via molecular signaling by dietary gut microbiota-derived nutrients through interdisciplinary research among agricultural, pharmaceutical, and medical sciences based on nutrigenomics research generated by agricultural science. Consequently, I aim to provide valuable insight into the development of functional foods, probiotics, and medicinal drugs as targets for immune and metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes.