Molecular and Chemical Life Science :
Multilevel Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics


Structural Mechanism Research and Development

Structural Mechanism Research and Development

Proteins and organic molecules comprise complex 3D structures responsible for their functions and properties, and thus it is important to elucidate their structures. Cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) can be used for various samples under liquid-nitrogen cooling to minimize radiation damage. Single particle cryo-EM can provide high-resolution structures and their atomic coordinates via the image analysis of frozen-hydrated proteins. This method can also be used to study conformational changes in buffer solutions and fluctuations, thereby revealing the structural dynamics. Small crystals of proteins and various molecules yield electron diffraction patterns, and electron 3D crystallography can visualize individual atoms and detailed chemical properties. Cryo-electron tomography is used to examine cell organelles and larger heterogeneous samples.

Research Overview

Using advanced cryo-EM, our study reveals detailed structural mechanisms of proteins and organic molecules such as photosynthetic complexes, membrane proteins, nucleic acid-binding proteins, viruses, pharmaceuticals, organic semiconductors and organic materials. We have also been developing related technologies including automated artificial intelligence data collection and analysis, and complement cryo-EM with synchrotron radiation and X-ray free-electron lasers to achieve our goals.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Faculty Members

Professor (Cross Appointment) YONEKURA Koji
High-resolution cryo-EM, crystallography, tomography, method development, AI
Professor TAKAHASHI Satoshi (C)
Associate Professor HAMAGUCHI Tasuku
High resolution single-particle analysis,Cryo-electron tomography