1）Development of detection and structural analysis technology for oxidized lipids
Unsaturated fatty acids are easily oxidized. Therefore, oxidized lipids have also been thought to be a by-product of mere oxidative damage. However, it has recently been reported that these oxidized lipids and their metabolites act as causative molecules of various diseases and inflammations. However, the technology to measure these oxidized lipids specifically and with high sensitivity was limited.
When lipids are oxidized, lipid radicals, peroxides, and aldehydes are produced. Therefore, we first developed a probe for detecting lipid radicals ( Nat Chem Biol, 2016 ). It is designed to fluoresce by trapping lipid radicals. In fact, in a model of chemical carcinogenesis and light-induced retinopathy ( Chem Commun, 2017 ), we reported that lipid radicals were generated according to the symptoms. Recently, we are developing the structure analysis technology of these lipid radicals, and the detection and structure analysis technology of aldehydes. We plan to develop these technologies into biomarker searches using patient samples.
2）Drug discovery research targeting oxidized lipids and elucidation of disease mechanism
Oxidized lipids and their metabolites have been reported to induce inflammatory reactions and cell death. Eliminating the lipid radicals that are the origin of this oxidized lipid reduced the onset and progress of , for example, chemical carcinogenesis ( Nat Chem Biol, 2016 ) and light-induced retinopathy ( Chem Commun, 2017 ). This indicates that oxidized lipids and their metabolites can be drug discovery targets. Therefore, our laboratory has newly constructed an inhibitor screening system for these targets. And we have found seed compounds for several diseases. Furthermore, we are working to elucidate the mechanism of disease using these candidate compounds.
Through these studies, we aim to contribute to the maintenance of people’s health by promoting drug discovery research from a new perspective of “oxidized lipids” in response to unmet medical needs.
3）Development of radio-chromomic research
The technology we have developed can be applied not only to lipid radicals, but also to protein radicals, DNA radicals, etc. We have developed a probe that comprehensively detects the “radical” that is first generated when a biofunctional molecule is oxidized, and is developing it into a “radicalomics research.”
4）Molecular imaging and theranostics research
Molecular imaging technology is a field that will greatly contribute to the visualization of functions in living organisms and cells, and will continue to accelerate research. In recent years, in order to overcome the technical problems of each modality, the probe development has been energetically promoted along with the multi-modality research combining multiple devices. Therefore, in our laboratory, “We have developed a low-molecular compound that enables multimodal imaging for magnetic resonance, fluorescence, and mass spectroscopes, and integrated information between different layers from living organisms to molecules and applying it to disease models.” Aims to do. In addition, we will extend this method to Theranostics (a concept that combines Therapuetics and Diagnostics).