- Nobuaki Matsumori, Professor
- Masanao Kinoshita, Assistant Professor
- We are studying biomembranes including membrane proteins using various analytical methods. The purposes of our study are to gain deeper understandings of biological membranes themselves, as well as to elucidate the molecular mode of actions of membrane-associated drugs and the pathogenic mechanism of membrane-related diseases such as Alzheimer disease.
Biological membranes are not just barriers that separate insides and outsides of cells, but also play multiple biological functions such as signal transduction and viral infection. Together with the fact that large parts of recently developed drugs target membrane proteins, it is getting increasingly more important to analyze membrane systems that include lipid bilayers and membrane proteins. However, since biological membranes are composed of various kinds of weakly interacting lipids, proteins, and sugar chains, it is said that membrane is one of the most difficult research targets in life science fields.
Because membrane analysis becomes more difficult with the increasing complexity as it goes from simple artificial model membranes to complicated biological membranes, a particular analytical method that can be applied to model membranes is not always applicable to biological membranes. In addition, observations of membrane systems need to cover time and space domains ranging from nanosecond and angstrom to millisecond and micrometer, which further make it almost impossible to rely just on a single particular analytical method. In this context, we are aiming to construct “integrated analytical platform for membranes”, which contains various kinds of analytical methods, being based on the effective chemical synthesis of necessary chemical probes. This platform is expected to give us deeper understandings not only for biological membranes themselves but also about the mode of action of membrane-associated drugs and pathogenic mechanism of membrane-related diseases.