Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University


Yuta Kudo

Associate professorLife and Environments

Mentor Information
Mari Yamashita (Graduate School of Agricultural Science)
Research Fields Natural Product Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry
Research Subjects
  • Study of potent neurotoxin, tetrodotoxin; screening of new analogs, evaluation of bioactivity, elucidation of biosynthesis
  • Screening of novel natural product from microorganisms
  • Signaling molecules in Actinomycetes
Academic Society Membership Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry, American Society of Pharmacognosy
Research Outline  

Natural products, chemical compounds produced by secondary metabolism in living organisms, have provided variety of drugs and drug-leads such as antibiotics, anticancer drugs and agricultural chemicals. Microorganism is important source of natural products, however, most of environmental microorganisms (99%) are unculturable in laboratory. This "black box" must contain unprecedent secondary metabolites and metabolism machinery. My research is focused on the unveiling unknown secondary metabolism machinery and the screening of new natural products using chemical and genomic approach.

1. Study on the biosynthesis of a potent neurotoxin, tetrodotoxin (TTX)
One of the most famous netrotoxin, tetorodotin (TTX), has complicated chemical structure and potent bioactivities. The biosynthesis of TTX is the biggest mystery in the natural product chemistry. We proposed the biosynthetic pathway of TTX based on the chemical analysis (Kudo, Y., et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014 and 2016, etc.). Now I'm trying to prove our hypothetical biosynthetic pathway of TTX via meta-genomic approach.

2. Screening of new natural products
NThere are vast number of silent/unknown genes in the organisms. In the view of natural product chemistry, gene can be called as “Blue print”. Recent advance of genetic database enables us to predict the product from genetic information (Genome-mining). I'm trying to discover new compounds via the screening of unknown biosynthetic genes, untouched blue prints.

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