1. Understand biomolecular machines 日本語

We will unveil operation principles of protein molecular machines. One of the representatives of protein molecular machines is linear and rotary molecular motors. Molecular motors generate mechanical forces and torques that drive their unidirectional motions from the energy of chemical reaction or the potential energy. We are studying linear [1-5] and rotary molecular motors [6-8]. Especially, we focus on new molecular motors such as chitinases, cellulases and V-ATPases.


[1] Nakamura A Nature Commun. 2018

[2] Nakamura A PCCP 2018 (Backcover

[3] Nakamura A J. Biol. Chem. 2016 (Cover

[4] Isojima H Nat. Chem. Biol. 2016

[5] Shibafuji Y J. Biol. Chem. 2014

[6] Tsunoda J Scientific Reports 2018

[7] Ueno H J. Biol. Chem. 2014

[8] Minagawa Y J. Biol. Chem. 2013 (Cover

2. Engineer biomolecular machines

We will engineer non-natural biological molecular machines with new functions to understand their design principles [9-11]. Many biomolecular machines have similar structures, implying same evolutional origin. AAA+ family proteins are one of the representatives. Rotary molecular motors V1-ATPase and F1-ATPase also belong to this family [12, 13]. interestingly, AAA+ molecular machines show wide variety of functions.


[9] Kawai F ACS Omega 2018

[10] Baba M PNAS 2016

[11] Yukawa A Biochemistry 2015

[12] Iino R Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 2013

[13] Iino R Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 2015

3. Investigate functions and structures of biomolecular machines

Our study is based on state-of-the-art single-molecule techniques. We are developing new single-molecule methods such as high resolution measurements with plasmonic nanoprobes [1, 4, 7, 8, 14, 15]. We also tightly collaborate with Prof. Takayuni Uchihashi (Nagoya Univ.) for single-molecule measurement with high-speed AFM [16, 17] and development of hybrid single-molecule instruments [18]. We also determine crystal structures of biomolecular machines by X-ray crystallography [1].

[14] Ando J Biophys J 2018

[15] Enoki S Anal. Chem. 2015

[16] Uchihashi T Nature Commun. 2018

[17] Uchihashi T Science 2011 (Introduced in Nature Japan)

[18] Fukuda S Rev. Sci. Instrum. 2013