Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology

Sachiko Haga-Yamanaka

Haga-Yamanaka Profile Picture
Office: (951) 827-3560
Fax: (951) 827-3087
3115 Biological Sciences Bldg.
Office Hours: , 2pm - 3pm
Email: sachiko.yamanaka@ucr.edu

Sachiko Haga-Yamanaka, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., University of Tokyo

Postdoctoral Fellow, Stowers Institute for Medical Research


     Animal behaviors emerge as a result of responses to external stimuli contingent on internal state. Although behavior depends on social and environmental cues, these alone are insufficient to predict the variety of observed behavioral outcomes. For example, attraction to food is greater in hungry versus satiated animals. Likewise, courtship and mating behaviors occur only after attainment of sexual maturity. Animals thus show distinct behavioral outputs in response to identical external stimuli, depending on internal physiological conditions such as hormonal, developmental, and neural states. Animal behavior is the output of integrated sensory input and internal state.

     We have focused on the mouse vomeronasal system that detects and discriminates specific molecular cues provided as pheromones. Pheromones are specific chemical cues emitted by animals that convey information about sexual, social and reproductive state to other members of the same species. Ultimately, pheromones trigger a repertoire of innate behaviors, including mating and aggression. Interestingly, neurons in the brain that respond to pheromone signals express a variety of hormone receptors, suggesting a potential mechanistic link between the pheromone-processing circuitry and endocrine hormones. Using an in vitro cell culture system and in vivo mouse models, we aim to elucidate how the brain controls behavior through integration of external sensory signals and internal hormonal state.


Okamoto N, Viswanatha R, Bittar R, Li Z, Haga-Yamanaka S, Perrimon N and Yamanaka N. (2018) A Membrane Transporter Is Required for Steroid Hormone Uptake in Drosophila. Dev Cell. 47(3):294-305

Hattori T, Oyama R, Horio N, Osakada T, Mogi K, Nagasawa M, Haga-Yamanaka S, Touhara K, Kikusui T. (2017) Exocrine Gland-Secreting Peptide 1 Is a Key Chemosensory Signal Responsible for the Bruce Effect in Mice. Curr Biol. 27: 3197–3201

Hattori T, Osakada T, Matsumoto A, Matsuo N, Haga-Yamanaka S, Nishida T, Mori Y, Mogi K, Touhara K and Kikusui T. (2016) Self-exposure to the Male Pheromone ESP1 Enhances Male Aggressiveness in Mice. Curr Biol. 26:1229-1234.

Haga-Yamanaka S, Ma L, Yu CR. (2015) Tuning Properties and Dynamic Range of Type 1 Vomeronasal Receptors. Front. Neurosci. 9: 244.

Haga-Yamanaka S, Ma L, He J, Qiu Q, Lavis LD, Looger LL and Yu CR. (2014) Integrated Action of Pheromone Signals in Promoting Courtship Behavior in Male Mice. eLife Jul 29; 3: e03025.

Taniguchi M, Yoshinaga S, Haga-Yamanaka S, Touhara K, Terasawa H. (2014) Backbone and Side-chain (1)H, (15)N and (13)C Assignments of Mouse Peptide ESP4. Biomol. NMR Assign.8 (1): 7-9.

Yoshinaga S, Sato T, Hirakane M, Esaki K, Hamaguchi T, Haga-Yamanaka S, Tsunoda M, Kimoto H, Shimada I, Touhara K, Terasawa H. (2013) Structure of the Mouse Sex Peptide Pheromone ESP1 Reveals a Molecular Basis for Specific Binding to the Class-C G-Protein-Coupled Vomeronasal Receptor. J. Biol. Chem.288:16064-16072.

Ma L, Haga-Yamanaka S, Yu QE, Qiu Q, Kim S, Yu CR. (2011) Imaging Neuronal Responses in Slice Preparations of Vomeronasal Organ Expressing a Genetically Encoded Calcium Sensor. J. Vis. Exp. Dec 6;(58)

Haga S., Hattori T., Sato T., Sato K., Kobayakawa R., Sakano H., Yoshihara Y., Kiusui T. and Touhara K. (2010) The Male Mouse Pheromone ESP1 Enhances Female Sexual Receptive Behaviour through a Specific Vomeronasal Receptor. Nature 466:118-122.

Haga S., Kimoto H. and Touhara K. (2007) Molecular Characterization of Vomeronasal Sensory Neurons Responding to a Male-specific Peptide in Tear Fluid: Sexual Communication in Mice. Pure Appl. Chem. 79:775-783.

Kimoto H., Sato K., Nodari F., Haga S., Holy TE., Touhara K. (2007) Sex- and Strain-specific Expression and Vomeronasal Activity of Mouse ESP Family Peptides. Curr. Biol. 17:1879-1884.

Kimoto H., Haga S., Sato K. and Touhara K. (2005) Sex-specific Peptide from Exocrine Glands Stimulate Mouse Vomeronasal Sensory Neurons. Nature 437:898-901.

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