Organic chemistry approaches to biological phenomena
    -  for elucidation of biological functions of selenium and the mechanism of protein folding



 • Selenoinsulin was prepared and found to be long-lasting against degradation by IDE (April, 2017)

Experimental Approach

 • Enzyme Models of Glutathione Peroxidase

 • Selenoamino Acids & Peptides

 • Protein Folding

Theoretical Approach

 • Development of the SAAP Force Field

 • Weak Interactions in Protein Structures

Many biological phenomena consist of collaborative works of biomolecules. Although the biological reactions seem to be complicated, they are mostly combination of comparatively simple organic chemistry reactions at the atomic level. Especially, association and dissociation of molecules based on noncovalent interactions, such as a hydrogen bond and hydrophobic interaction, are important organic chemistry phenomena to maintain life systems. In our laboratory, model reaction systems to elucidate the mechanisms of selenium-containing enzymes, the principle of protein folding, and the stabilization mechanism of three-dimensional protein structures are studied from the interest to solve a variety of biological phenomena from the viewpoint of organic chemistry (that is, the interaction at a atomic level). Design and application of new protein folding reagents, synthesis of selenium-containing amino acids, and development of the single amino acid potential force field (SAAP) for fast molecular simulation are conducted.

In Iwaoka laboratory, we approach intriguing biological phenomena from the sides of both experiment and theory.