Molecular and Chemical Life Science :
Chemical Biology


Professor ISHIKAWA Minoru
Campus Katahira campus
Laboratory Bioactive Molecules
Tel +81-22-217-6197
E-mail minoru.ishikawa.e4@tohoku.ac.jp
Website http://www.agri.tohoku.ac.jp/ishikawa-lab/index.html
2019/Apr - present      Professor   Tohoku University, Graduate School of Life Science
2013/Apr - 2019/Mar   Associate Professor   The University of Tokyo, IMCB, JAPAN
2012/Oct - 2013/Mar   Lecturer   The University of Tokyo, IMCB, JAPAN
2008/Jul - 2012/Sep     Assistant Professor   The University of Tokyo, IMCB, JAPAN
1996/Apr - 2008/Jun    Researcher   Meiji Seika Kaisha. Ltd., JAPAN
2006/Dec                       Ph.D. Pharm.   The University of Tokyo, JAPAN
1994/Apr - 1996/Mar   M.Eng. Tokyo Institute of Technology, JAPAN Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology
1990/Apr - 1994/Mar   B.Eng   Tokyo Institute of Technology, JAPAN School of Bioscience and Biotechnology
Selected Publications
  1. Discovery of small molecules that induce degradation of huntingtin
    Shusuke Tomoshige, Sayaka Nomura, Kenji Ohgane, Yuichi Hashimoto, Minoru Ishikawa*
    Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2017, 56, 11530-11533.
  2. Improving the Water-solubility of Compounds by Molecular Modification to Disrupt Crystal Packing
    Minoru Ishikawa, Yuichi Hashimoto
    The Practice of Medicinal Chemistry, 4th edition, ed. by Camille Georges Wermuth, David Aldous, Pierre Raboisson and Didier Rognan, Academic Press: Massachusetts, 2015. pp 747-765.
  3. Improvement in aqueous solubility in small molecule drug discovery programs by disruption of molecular planarity and symmetry
    Minoru Ishikawa*, Yuichi Hashimoto
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2011, 54, 1539-1554.
  4. Protein Knockdown Using Methyl Bestatin-ligand Hybrid Molecules: Design and Synthesis of Inducers of Ubiquitination-mediated Degradation of Cellular Retinoic Acid-Binding Proteins
    Yukihiro Itoh, Minoru Ishikawa, Mikihiko Naito, Yuichi Hashimoto*
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 2010, 132, 5820-5826.
Activities in Academic Societies
the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan; the Chemical Society of Japan; American Chemical Society; the Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan; Japanese Society for Chemical Biology
Bioactive Natural Products Chemistry

Recent Activities

Traditional small molecule drug discovery strategies rely on the “lock and key” theory, which specifies that small molecule drugs bind to target proteins and modulate their functions. However, many disease-related proteins, including substrate binding proteins, aggregation-prone proteins, and protein-protein interactions cannot be predicted by the lock and key mechanism. Therefore, we discovered novel strategies that employ methods of organic chemistry, and molecular and cellular biology to regulate these proteins.
We developed a novel strategy for small molecule drug discovery, in which, degradation of target proteins is based on the use of small hybrid molecules composed of a ligand for the target protein and another for ubiquitin ligase. These hybrid small molecules direct the ubiquitin ligase towards the target protein, leading to selective degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. In addition, we demonstrated that this strategy could be an effective therapeutic approach for neurodegenerative diseases.
Aqueous solubility is essential for drug candidates, and improving aqueous solubility of bioactive compounds is a major concern for medicinal chemists. We have proposed strategies for improving aqueous solubility by modifying molecules using certain methods that would decrease intermolecular interaction. Our results indicate that these strategies can increase the aqueous solubility of molecules although their hydrophobicities increase concomitantly.

Message to Students

Please join our laboratory and let’s enjoy our research together if you want to be an interdisciplinary researcher in organic chemistry and biology, be a researcher a medicinal chemist/chemical biologist, or start a novel research.