Clarification of the Biological Functions of Sugar Chains and the Use of this Knowledge in Applied Technologies

Research Supervisor

Naoyuki Taniguchi(Endowed Chair, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University / Group Director, RIKEN Frontior Research System, Systems Glycobiology Research Group)

Year Started



The goal of this research area is to clarify currently unknown biological functions of sugar chains in glycoproteins, glycolipids and proteoglycans and to apply this knowledge to unsolved biomedical problems. Specifically, this area includes the clarification of the new functions regarding roles of sugar chains and the control mechanisms in the central nervous functions, morphogenesis and differentiation and studies of possible applications such as suppressing cancer invasion and metastasis and the prevention of infection by means of the remodeling of sugar chains. This area also includes the research on the development of the methods for modulation of immune control directed toward disease prevention, diagnosis and therapy. Research directed toward the development of methods for the ultra-microanalysis of sugar chains and technology that will permit visualizing dynamic changes in signal transduction that are directly related to sugar chains are also included.

Year Started : 2004

Taroh Kinoshita
Professor, Osaka University
Relating Sugar Chains' Structures and Localization with their Biological Functions
Takeshi Tsubata
Professor, Tokyo Medical and Dental University
Studies on the Roles of Carbohydratemediated Signaling in Acquired Immunity and its Application to Disease Control
Yoshio Hirabayashi
Team Leader, RIKEN
Expression and Regulation of Neuronal Function through Glycosylation System
Koichi Honke
Professor, Kochi University
Functions of Glycoconjugates in the Membrane Microdomains in Pathophysiological Processes

Year Started : 2003

Kohji Itoh
Professor, The University of Tokushima
Development of Recombinant Lysosomal Enzyme Replacement Therapy for Brain Diseases Based on the Specific Functions of Oligosaccharides
Jin-ichi Inokuchi
Professor, Tohoku Pharmaceutical University
Molecular Pathogenesis of Type 2 Diabetes via Insulin Signaling in Membrane Microdomains
Hiroshi Nakada
Professor, Kyoto Sangyo University
Analysis of Immunosuppressive Effect by Mucins in Tumor-bearing State and Clinical Application
Kazuya Nomura
Associate Professor, Kyushu University
Strategic Analysis of Carbohydrate Functions through Gene Knockouts
Taeko Miyagi
Director, Miyagi Cancer Center Research Institute
Molecular Mechanisms of Aberrant Expression of Sialidase in Cancer and Diabetes and their Regulation for Therapeutic Purposes
Yoko Fujita- Yamaguchi
Professor, Tokai University
Production of Single Chain Antibodies against a Variety of Carbohydrate Epitopes

Year Started : 2002

Yukishige Ito
Chief Scientist, RIKEN
Investigation on the Functions of Glycan Chains in Glycoprotein Quality Control
Reiji Kannagi
Chief, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute
Elucidating the Functional Roles of Glycoconjugates in Cell-Cell Interactions During Cancer Progression
Makoto Kiso
Professor, Gifu University
Studies on Development of Novel Glycotherapeutics to Control Infection and Symbiosis
Nobuto Koyama
General Manager, Takara Bio Inc.
Prevention against and Treatment for Cancer and Viral Diseases
Yasuo Suzuki
Professor, Chubu University
Functional Glycomics of Viral Infection and its Application for the Development of Antiviral Agents
Shoko Nishihara
Professor, Soka University
Elucidation of the Roles of Glycans using RNAi Technology


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