Structural Biology Lab.


Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University

Research interests

Sense, such as vision, audition, touch sensation, gustation, and olfaction, is the sole window opening toward the outside of our bodies: it is an important function for living organisms to receive, transduce, integrate, recognize and process a wide array of information from the environment.

    In this research team, we focus on the first step of sensing through signal reception from environment to signal transduction and transfer in a cell. We aim to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of this process by knowing structures of the participating proteins. The pivot of our study is structural analyses of sensory receptors, signaling proteins, and regulatory proteins by X-ray crystallography. Many of our target proteins are eukaryotic membrane proteins, which are currently ones of the most difficult targets in the field of structural biology. In order to achieve structural analysis of these targets, we simultaneously carry out research and development of methods to facilitate sample preparation, a bottleneck for membrane protein crystallography. We also perform functional analyses of these proteins with biochemical and physiological approaches.

        The objective of this team is to understand the sensing mechanisms by integrating the structural and functional information.



Atsuko Yamashita, Ph. D. (Professor)

Norihisa Yasui, Ph. D. (Associate Professor)

Nana Yoshikane (Technical staff)

Daiki Doi (Grad student, M2)

Kazuaki Nakamura (Grad student, M2)

Junya Nitta (Grad student, M1)

Rakuto Mizoguchi (Grad student, M1)

Nanami Sugimoto (Undergraduate)

Yuka Adachi (Undergraduate)

Aoshi Nakamura (Undergraduate)

Hikaru Ishida (Undergraduate)

Tomoya Mikan (Undergraduate)


Atsuko Yamashita, Ph. D.

1-1-1, Tsushima-naka,

Kita-ku, Okayama 700-8530


Phone & FAX = +81-86-251-7974


Okayama University: Pharmaceutical Sciences
Okayama University