Name Hirokazu ARIMOTO
Affiliation Professor
Tel +81-22-217-6201
Fax +81-22-217-6204
Mail arimoto* replace * with @)
Research Interest Chemical biology, Medicinal Chemistry, Autophagy
Career Education:Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Keio University, Ph.D. (1995) Research Experience: AGC research center (1990-92); Assist. and Assoc. Professor at ShizuokaUniversity (1994-2001); Assoc. Professor at NagoyaUniversity (2001-2005); Professor of Life Sciences at Tohoku University (2005-)
Research map
Research Projects
  1. AUTACs: the first autophagy-based degraders for Medicine (Mol Cell, 2019):
    AUTAC is a revolutionary new technology in drug discovery processes. Each AUTAC compound (small molecule) is designed to target a specific disease-associated protein or organelle and eliminates its target through selective autophagy.  Our AUTAC paper has attracted great attention from pharmaceutical industry worldwide (Top 1% paper in the Scopus database). The tag that induces recruitment of the autophagy machinery to the substrate for degradation was discovered in our Mol Cell paper (2013) on antibacterial autophagy. 
    (Awards: International Catalyst Award from the National Academy of Medicine USA,, SSOCJ Kaneka Award for Life Science, the Yagami Award from Keio University, etc.)
  2. Molecular design of antibacterial agents against vancomycin-resistant strains
    Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) is a serious cause of nosocomial infection because it is resistant not only to vancomycin but also to most clinical antibacterial agents. We have been working on the synthesis of glycopeptide derivatives that interfere cell wall biosynthesis of VREs. However, enterococcal biosynthesis is a complex process involving seven penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) and other enzymes, and insufficient knowledge about the role of each enzyme has hampered the rational design of new antibacterial agents. Using a variety of chemical probes, we are investigating cell wall synthesis of VRE.
     (Awards: The Chemical Society of Japan Award for Creative Work, Incentive Award in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan etc.)
  3. Aging and autophagy research using Caenorhabditis elegans
    Using C. elegans, a standard model organism, we are analyzing the effects of endogenous compounds on lifespan extension and the uncovered function of autophagy-related genes.
    (Awards: the President award from the Astellas Foundation for Research on Metabolic Disorder)


Research Seeds
  • mito-AUTACs for improving mitochondrial functions

The mitochondria are not only involved in energy production but are also closely related to aging and disease. The improved AUTAC4 we are developing selectively degrades and eliminates dysfunctional mitochondria and improves cellular functions. We welcome collaboration on AUTAC4 in the areas of neurodegenerative diseases, inflammation, and aging inhibition (international patent pending).

  • Chemical probes for analysis of cell wall biosynthesis of VRE

We have antimicrobial compounds that are effective against VRE, and the chemical probes we create using these compounds can identify compound targets, for example, by proximity labeling. We can also observe the function of labeled enzymes in live bacteria.