Biochemical Gerontology (Endowed Research Section)


  • FUJII, Noriko e-mail: nfujii<atmark>

Associate Professor

  • TAKATA, Takumi  e-mail: takumi<atmark>

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Aging-associated diseases, including cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer disease, atherosclerosis, Parkinson disease, sclerema are called the protein folding diseases. One of the cause of the diseases due to the misfolding and aggregation of the proteins in the tissues. Recent studies show that these damaged proteins contain biologically uncommon D-aspartate (D-Asp). The presence of D-Asp in aged tissues of living organisms is a result of the spontaneous racemization of Asp residues during aging. The appearance of D-Asp isomers in a protein can cause major changes in the 3-D structure because the different side chain orientation may induce an abnormal peptide backbone. That’s why the D-Asp is a useful aging molecular maker. The aim of our research is to 1) elucidate the correlation between the post-translational modifications including racemization, oxidation, deamidation, and loss of protein function, 2) find the molecular marker of the age-related diseases, 3) develop the noninvasive diagnostic equipment for the age-related diseases before the onset.

D-amino acid and abnormal aggregation of protein.

Age-related diseases induced by D-amino acids in proteins.