Laboratory of Protein Organic Chemistry


Director Hironobu HOJO
Associate Professor Toru KAWAKAMI
Assistant Professor Yuya ASAHINA



Tel 81-6-6879-8601
Fax 81-6-6879-8603


Our research goal is to develop the methods that enable the synthesis of a wide variety of proteins. To realize such synthesis we are developing chemical methods such as a thioester method and an extended native chemical ligation method. A hybrid method is also being developed in which chemical and biological means are used as the preparation of building blocks. The chemoselective ligation strategies are also being applied to the preparation of site-specifically modified peptides and membrane proteins for use in the analysis of protein-protein interaction.

Fig. 1: A newly developed building block for protein synthesis that contains an auto-activating unit, a Cys-Pro-OR residue.
Fig. 2: Preparation of a peptide that contains a transmembrane and juxtamembrane regionsfor use in the analysis of protein-protein and protein-lipid bilayer interaction.

Current Research Programs

  1. General studies on a chemical protein synthesis
  2. Synthetic studies of membrane proteins
  3. Synthetic studies of histones, and their structural and functional studies
  4. Structural and functional studies of membrane proteins


  1. Peptide thioester preparation based on an N-S acyl shift reaction mediated by a thiol ligation auxiliary. Kawakami, T., Sumida, M., Nakamura, K., Vorherr, T., Aimoto, S. (2005) Tetrahedron Lett. 46, 8805-8807.
  2. Inhibitors of amyloid toxicity based on β-sheet packing of Aβ40 and Aβ42. Sato, T., Kienlen-Campard, P., Ahmed, M., Liu, W., Li, H., Elliott, J. I., Aimoto, S., Constantinescu, S. N., Octave, J. N., Smith, S. O. (2006) Biochemistry 45, 5503-5516 .
  3. Generation of an S-Peptide via an N-S acyl shift reaction in TFA solution. Nakamura, K., Sumida, M., Kawakami, T., Vorherr, T., Aimoto, S. (2006) Bull. Chem. Soc. Jpn. 79, 1773-1780.
  4. Peptide ligation using the cysteinyl prolyl ester (CPE) activating unit at the carboxy terminus. Kawakami, T., Aimoto, S. (2007) Chem. Lett. 36, 76-77.
  5. Sequential peptide ligation by using a controlled cysteinyl prolyl ester (CPE) autoactivating unit. Kawakami, T., Aimoto, S. (2007) Tetrahedron Lett. 48, 1903-1905.