Life sciences

Our center study on the following points in the field of life science. We always try to elucidate not only tertiary structures but also the principle behind the biological phenomena based on tertiary structures.

Mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance

About 60 trillion cells in the human body have a nearly identical genetic information, but each cell has each specific function, such as eye, skin, heart, and so on. Once cells acquired their roles, it should be taken over during cell devisions. Such a phenomenon is called epigenetics. It is reported that histone protein has important roles in epigenetic inheritance. Here, we will solve the structure of epigenetic-related protein and propose a new mechanism on the inheritance of cell memory.

Mechanisms of gene expression

When you convert the genetic information of eukaryotic organisms in character, it is not only standing was of 750MB even human. However, in just the more the amount of information, complex organisms finished like a human, social activities have been made. That organism is estimated to have a mechanism of good operationally good information processing storage. We in order to elucidate the mechanism of clever information processing organisms acquired in the course of evolution, have promoted the research by focusing on the three-dimensional structure of a protein complex that controls the function of the gene.

Mechanisms of pylori infecton

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is to inhabit the human gastric mucosa, it is said to be infected with approximately half of the world population. In recent years it has been noted to be involved in gastric cancer and various stomach related diseases. This is thought to be caused to be disrupting the normal intracellular signaling interacts with various proteins in cells of the gastric mucosa protein of people called CagA that H. pylori make. We are based on the three-dimensional structural analysis of complex consisting of CagA and human protein, infection of H. pylori has been studying the mechanisms that cause the stomach-related diseases.

Protein science of enzymes degrading persistent organic pollutants

Presence of microorganisms capable of degrading hardly degradable substances in the environment becomes evident, in recent years, bioremediation to eliminate the environmental pollution by actively using the decomposition ability of microorganisms has become a hot topic. The reason which can microorganisms will decompose material was combined with compound proteins by microorganisms is produced is a substrate, because to carry out the enzymatic reaction. In our group, and proteins involved in the degradation of polychlorinated biphenyls known as environmental pollutants (PCB), and the study of protein lignin degrading bacteria which can make the materials of the high-performance plastics with readily degradable we are promoting on the basis of the three-dimensional structure.

Mechanisms of intracellular traffic

In eukaryotic cells, including various cell organelles, which is a requirement for it to be accurately distributed to transport biological material in the cell (such as proteins and lipids) is engaged in life activities. Therefore, it is very important in order to elucidate the origins of life phenomena to clarify the function and structure of the group of proteins involved in the intracellular transport system. In addition, diseases that intracellular transport system is caused by the distribution of substances in deficient in cells not normally performed is also known, elucidation of the intracellular transport system of control mechanism Ya elucidation of such diseases it is expected to also lead to treatment. We are, through a three-dimensional structural analysis of regulatory proteins of intracellular transport represented by GGA, trying to clarify the whole picture of the molecular mechanism. (Schematic diagram by Osaka University Yoshimori Professor)

Mechanisms of glycosylation

Sugar chains, as a third of biomolecules second only to the nucleic acid-protein, its importance are being revealed. Carbohydrate present on the cell surface is famous as a determinant of blood type, but plays an important role in the transmission of information between cells, it is directly involved, such as also infection of the transition and the virus of cancer. Even within the cell, glycosylation of proteins or become tag of intracellular transport, it is or become an indicator of the maturation process of the protein itself. Disease to develop by sugar metabolism is abnormal also known number. Despite this way is important in vivo, this area has been left many points of unexplained. We are, through a three-dimensional structural analysis of a group of proteins involved in glycosylation, we aim to understand its functions at the molecular level.