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Division of Integrative Biomolecular Function

About Research Institute

 Numerous organisms have established universal and unique biologically regulatory systems, and biologically and ecologically interact among them. Such biodiversity might have been evolved via a wide range of selective pressures and interphyletic biological interaction. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms largely remain unknown. Our group have been investigating the essential principles and biological significances for the generation of the biodiversity and the ecological systems for animals, plants, and microbes as the molecular and genetic networks using multiple approaches, including molecular biology, cell biology, physiology, bioinformatics, and analytical chemistry.

Group Members

Division of Integrative Biomolecular Function

General Manager/ Executive Researcher​

Honoo SATAK

Senior Researcher

Tsuyoshi KAWADA

Senior Researcher

Toshio TAKAHASHI

Senior Researcher

Jun MURATA

Senior Researcher

Tomotsugu KOYAMA

Researcher

Tsubasa SAKAI

Researcher

Tomohiro OSUGI

Researcher

Akira SHIRAISHI

Researcher

Tatsuya YAMAMOTO

Researcher

Shin MATSUBARA

Researcher

Yuta TAKASE

Appointed Researcher

Yoshiko MURATA

Technical Assistant

Shinji KIRIMOTO

Technical Assistant

Azumi WADA

Technical Assistant

Makoto FUJISAWA

Research Projects

1. Molecular mechanisms for signaling molecule and metabolizing enzyme-directed evolution and diversification

Neuropeptides and peptide hormones play pivotal roles in a variety of biological events, including reproduction, nuterient uptake, homeostasis, and learning. We have so far identified both homologous and novel neuropeptides and peptide hormones (more than 90% of C. intestinalis peptides) in the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis Type A (Ciona robusta). We have also elucidated the cognate receptors by a combination of machine learning-based prediction of peptide-receptor interactions and reverse-pharmacological methods (Fig. 1). We have also substantiated the regulation of signaling by Ciona-specific GnRH receptor paralogs via heterodimerization. This is the first report on GPCR heterodimerization among species-specific receptor paralogs.