Development of metabolic analysis technologies
Living things acquire energy for survival from nutrients such as glucose and synthesize building blocks for cell division via metabolic functions. We are developing analytical methodologies to quantify the activity of central carbon metabolism, a basic system of cellular function. Especially, the analysis of the levels of metabolites, metabolic flux, and metabolic enzymes are intensively focused. We have developed the analytical platform for the measurement of the intermediates and metabolic enzymes in central carbon metabolism in the collaboration work with Shimadzu Corporation. These methodologies successfully revealed the detailed metabolic flows and their regulations in central carbon metabolism of yeast and cancer cells. We will continue the technological development for capturing, processing and integrating the huge data from dynamic and multi-layer cell system.
Biosystem analysis and its modification
Trans-omics analysis and computer simulations
To extract the important knowledge from multi-dimensional cellular system, it is necessary to discover the regularity and abnormality in huge analysis data and link the data to phenotype. Now we promote the project "Metabolic Adaptation in Drug Resistance" (Scientific Research on Innovative Areas, Trans-omics Analysis of Metabolic Adaptation) to understand the mechanism of metabolic adaptation under the treatment of pesticide and anti-cancer drugs using integrated analysis of multi-layer data (metabolites, metabolic flux, and metabolic enzymes) in central carbon metabolism. Another main project is the elucidation of the mechanism of robust ethanol fermentation activity in yeast, an important industrial microorganism, using dynamic computer simulations of central carbon metabolism based on analysis data.
Development of massive modification technology for living systems
Recently, we are able to modify the genetic information of living systems. Present, what we can modify is limitted to the information encoded in genome DNAs. The information of living systems is also encoded in other parts of the cells, such as cytoplasm, lipid composition in the membrane, and so on. However, we have no technologies to modify these information. Our group are attempting to develop technoloties to rewrite the information of whole living systems based on the above-mentioned analytical methods.