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Laboratory of Biological Information Analysis Science

Prof. Makoto Demura

Education Course
Transdisciplinary Life Science Course
Division of Life Science
Graduate School of Life Science

Research Organization
Division of Functional Life Science
Faculty of Advanced Life Science

Hokkaido University
Sapporo 060-0810
Tel & Fax: +81-11-706-2771
Email: demura_a_sci.hokudai.ac.jp
URL: http://altair.sci.hokudai.ac.jp/infana/

Research theme:

Study on structure-function relationship of biological molecules in the biomembrane system based on experimental and information sciences


Membrane protein, Silk, Peptide, Biomimicry, Folding, NMR, Photobiology, Rhodopsin, Apoptosis, Bioinformatics

Main projects

 Structure and function of rhodopsin family
    The seven transmembrane (7TM) receptors have a remarkable similarity to bacteriorhodopsin and halorhodopsin (NpHR). These are a light driven proton pump and a light driven chloride pump from the archaebacteria. The 7TM segments enclose a retinal attached to a lysine residue of the last helix by a Schiffs base. This retinal undergoes an all-trans to 13-cis isomerization when it absorbs a photon. The conformational change is transmitted to the protein and it is used to pump protons or chloride and form a gradient. In vertebrate eyes, the protein rhodopsin is also a 7TM segment protein with retinal attached to a lysine also in the last helix.  In this protein the photo-conformational change activates a signal transducer. We are investigated mechanism of ion pumping and signal transduction of archaeal rhodopsins using a transgenic technology and various spectroscopies including CD, flash-photolysis, and NMR.

 Protein folding and induction of apoptosis
    Water soluble protein from milk changes 3D-structure from native to denatured via structural intermediates such as molten globule state when denaturant is added or temperature is changed. Does the unfolded protein from native state have biological function? We found that conformational trap of the milk protein at the molten globule state induced an apoptosis activity although the original enzymatic function of milk protein is lost at the molten globule state. The molecular mechanism of this apoptosis of tumor cell with the milk protein is investigating.

 Determination and prediction of protein structure using NMR and bioinformatics
    The lifescience in recent years has been transfigured to the science that handles huge information by the result of the genome analysis project. It is very important to develop how to process these huge information and apply to an individual research of biomolecules such as protein, nucleic acid and biomembrane. On the other hand, advanced solution and solid state NMR techniques for determination of protein structure have been developed. Based on these experimental and information sciences, the methodology for determination and simulation of protein structure is developed.

 Industrial application of protein and peptide to regenerative medicine
    Based on biological function and structural information, industrial application of protein and peptide to regenerative medicine such as nerve and skin are in progress.


Lab. Member