Biological Chemistry



Enzymes and proteins maintain our health and life-sustaining ability, while they contribute to the diversified biological functions of living organisms, and produce a variety of metabolites in fermented microorganisms. Our researches focus on the structure-function relationship and molecular evolution of enzymes in specialized biofunctions such as snake venom (venomics), pearl biomineralization and biosynthesis systems of antibiotics, and also in human diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease to develop new biomaterials and drugs. We also develop the modified enzymes or molecular probes such as nitrate sensor sNOOOpy, which is applicable to monitor nitrate level in cancer cells. In our laboratory, we determine the structure of enzymes using X-ray protein crystallography. We also analyze activities of enzymes biochemically or in cells using yeast and mammalian cultured cell lines.

Fig. 1: Enzymes and proteins related to the specialized biological functions including snake venom (A) and biomineralization (B), and their 3D structures.
Fig. 2: Amyloidogenesis reconstituted in yeast. γ-secretase activity was monitored by yeast growth and reporter enzymes.
Fig. 3: sNOOOpy in a human cancer cell line, HeLa cell. Nitrate concentration increasing at intervals.



Alzheimer disease, Biomineralization, Enzyme, Lectin, Metalloprotease, Molecular evolution, Protein, Snake venom, Venomics, γ-Secretase, Amyloid β, X ray crystallography