We will achieve the SDGs by developing analytical technology to “accurately quantify the metabolic functions” of living organisms.
Understanding the operating principles of basic life systems
There are dedicated strains of budding yeast for different purposes, such as experimental yeast, baker’s yeast, wine yeast, and sake yeast. Our goal is to compare the abilities of different yeast strains and to explain the reasons for these differences at the metabolic level. In addition, by comparing these strains with those of humans, we will be able to elucidate the operating principles of the basic systems of life.
- What is budding yeast strain ?
We are studying a budding yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is used for baking bread and making alcohol. It is good at metabolizing sugar and fermenting alcohol. It is also resistant to stress and can be used to produce a variety of useful substances.
We are comparing and analyzing the metabolism of various budding yeasts to find a way to produce a large amount of alcohol quickly. We are actually testing and verifying the methods we have found. We also hope to use this information to develop technology to produce a variety of delicious foods.
Elucidating the metabolic mechanisms of cancer and discovering drug targets
Although cancer cells are very inefficient in energy production, they have the ability to proliferate vigorously. We are conducting research and development to discover new drug targets that weaken cancer metabolism.
We found that when the anticancer drug paclitaxel was administered, breast cancer cells resisted by reconnecting their metabolism for energy production. We hope to accumulate such findings to discover new drug targets.
Aiming to commercialize biofuels
We have modified the metabolism of budding yeast using genetic recombination technology to create a yeast strain that mass-produces 2,3-butanediol, a biofuel. In order to improve the establishment of practical applications for this bioproduction, rational modification of metabolic pathways based on an understanding of metabolic systems is required.
The practical application of biofuels requires persistent efforts. We are searching for a new approach to the practical use of biofuels by elucidating the operating principles of metabolism.