Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University


Shinichi Sato

Associate professorLife and Environments

Mentor Information
Minoru Ishikawa (Graduate School of Life Sciences)
Research Fields Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Chemical Biology
Research Subjects
  • Tyrosine-Specific Bioconjugation
  • Antibody Chemical Modification
  • Catalyst-Proximity Protein Chemical Labeling
Academic Society Membership The Chemical Society of Japan, The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan, The Japanese Peptide Society, International Chemical Biology Society
Research Outline  

Bioconjugation methods are techniques that have been extensively studied for covalent bond formation between a specific amino acid residue of a protein and a synthetic small compound. The methods are highly important in making protein-based biomaterials for therapeutic and biotechnology industries. In order to achieve reliable protein bioconjugation, the following requirements should be met: (1) stable covalent bond formation, (2) rapid reaction in aqueous solution, and (3) high conversion under physiological pH and mild temperature. We have developed tyrosine-specific bioconjugation methods with ruthenium photocatalysts, hemin, enzymes and electrochemistry.

The relative hydrophobicity of tyrosine combined with the π−π stacking tendency of the aromatic rings results in generally low accessibility. We have developed site-selective protein modification by targeting surface-exposed tyrosine residues and applied to antibody site-selective functionalization.

Furthermore, based on my unique methodology which controls the protein bioconjugation using single-electron transfer in proximity to the catalyst on the nanometer scale, we have developed a method for target-selective protein labeling in a protein mixture. This method enables us to identify target proteins of bioactive molecules.

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