Introducing the researchers:
Syusuke Egoshi received his PhD in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Minoru Ueda at Tohoku University graduate school of science. He joined the group of Prof. Mikiko Sodeoka at RIKEN as postdoctoral fellows in 2016, and as special postdoctoral researcher in 2018, thereafter he was promoted to a research scientist. His research interests are the development of unique chemical imaging technologies including Raman tags/probes and their application for biological research of elucidating the mode of action of small bioactive molecules.
Kosuke Dodo graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1999 and received his PhD from Tohoku University in 2004. After the postdoctoral training at RIKEN, he was appointed as an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo in 2007. Then, he returned to RIKEN as a research scientist and a group leader in the ERATO Sodeoka Live Cell Chemistry Project from 2008 to 2013, thereafter he was promoted to a senior research scientist in 2014. His research interests span the development of unique chemical probes/technologies including Raman probes and their application for biological research related to cell death signaling.
Kenji Ohgane received his PhD (Pharmaceutical Science) in 2013 under the supervision of Prof. Yuichi Hashimoto at the University of Tokyo (the Laboratory of Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry at the Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biosciences). In 2013, he joined the group of Prof. Mikiko Sodeoka at RIKEN and performed chemical biology researches. After 4 years of postdoctoral research, he returned to the University of Tokyo as an Assistant Professor, and then moved to the Tokyo University of Science (Prof. Kouji Kuramochi) in 2020. In 2021, he started his laboratory at the Department of Chemistry, Ochanomizu University (Tokyo). His research group is currently focusing on small molecules that stabilize or destabilize their target proteins (screening, medicinal chemistry, and analysis of the mode of action), and also interested in understanding new bioactivities of sterols and lipids.
Mikiko Sodeoka received her BS, MS, and PhD degrees from Chiba University. After working at the Sagami Chemical Research Center, Hokkaido University, Harvard University, and the University of Tokyo, she became a Group Leader at the Sagami Chemical Research Center in 1996. She moved to the University of Tokyo as an Associate Professor and then to Tohoku University as a Full Professor in 2000. Since 2004, she has been a Chief Scientist at RIKEN. Her current researches cover development of new reactions based on transition metal chemistry and fluorine chemistry and development of new methodologies for chemical biology research.
What inspired your research in this area?
Raman imaging using alkyne tag is useful tool to observe small biomolecules in cells because alkyne exhibits a vibrational frequency in Raman-silent region that is free of interference from intracellular molecules. The development of various alkynes is important to observe a wide variety of biomolecules in cells. Therefore, we are working on the development of novel alkyne tags/ probes.
What do you personally feel is the most interesting/important outcome of your study?
The most interesting findings are the alkyne vibrational frequency shifts by 135 cm-1 upon deuteration, and the D/H exchange of alkynes occurs depending on pH. The large difference in Raman shift of D/H alkynes successfully realized simultaneous two-color imaging of similar small molecules. The pH dependency of D/H exchange of alkynes indicates the potency of D-alkyne to monitor the intracellular dynamics.
What directions are you planning to take with your research in future?
In the next step, we will develop various types of D-alkyne probes from H-alkyne probes and apply them for multi-color Raman imaging to observe small molecules in cells. In addition, we are planning to develop Raman probes using D/H exchange of D-alkynes, such as the pH sensor.
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