Eriko Nango
Assistant Professor
Masahiko Taguchi
Assistant Professor
Takaaki Fujiwara
  • X-ray free electron lasers
  • X-ray crystallography
  • time-resolved measurement
  • rational protein design

Major Grad.Sch. of Science
Web Site

Capturing structural changes in proteins at work by quantum beams

A protein is one of the biomolecules that are essential to the phenomena of life, such as cell signaling, in vivo catalytic reactions, storage and transport. A three-dimensional structure of a protein, which consists of a number of amino acids, is closely related to its function, and there has been an interest in how a protein structurally changes when it functions. However, new techniques are needed to capture the movement of nano-sized proteins on a fast time scale (femtoseconds to milliseconds) at an atomic level.
In our laboratory, we use a quantum beam such as an X-ray free-electron laser, synchrotron radiation, or an electron beam to visualize actual chemical and structural changes in proteins. For instance, we will reveal the switching mechanism of light-sensitive proteins and the reaction mechanism of enzymes catalyzing unique reactions. Furthermore, we aim to design and create protein molecules with new functions based on precise information from dynamic structural analysis.


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