Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science

Bio-Active Compounds Discovery Research Unit

Unit Leader: Nobumoto Watanabe (D.Sci.)
Nobumoto  Watanabe(D.Sci.)

As the research platform for the sustainable resources and their application, we are developing the platforms for the discovery and validation of useful bio-active compounds. After the development and refinement of these platforms, bioactive compounds useful for the improvement of photosynthesis efficiency, N2 fixation, denitrification and recovery of rare metals will be identified. We will validate the bioactivity of RIKEN NPDepo chemical library compounds and develop and refine the detection system of the phosphorylation dependent protein-protein interaction. The chemical array systems for the discovery of novel bioactive compounds are also being improved.

Main Research Field

Complex systems

Related Research Fields

Chemistry / Biological Sciences / Biology


  • Cell Cycle
  • Protein phosphorylation
  • Cancer
  • Protein-protein interaction
  • Small molecule

Selected Publications

  1. Nogawa, T., Ogita, N., Futamura, Y., Negishi, S., Watanabe, N., and Osada, H.:
    "Trachyspic acid 19-butyl ester, a new inhibitor of Plk1 polo box domain-dependent recognition from uncharacterized fungus RKGS-F2684."
    J Antibiot, 70, 705-707 (2017).
  2. Ikeda, T., Ong, E.B.B., Watanabe, N., Sakaguchi, N., Maeda, K., and Koito, A.:
    "Creation of chimeric human/rabbit APOBEC1 with activities of HIV-1 restriction and DNA mutation."
    Sci. Rep. 6, 19035 doi: 10.1038/srep19035 (2016)
  3. Hayase, H., Watanabe, N., Lim, CL., Nogawa, T., Komatsuya, K., Kita, K., and Osada, H.:
    "Inhibition of malaria parasite growth by quinomycin A and its derivatives through DNA-intercalating activity."
    Biosci., Biotech., Biochem. . 79, 633-635 (2015)
  4. Choi, SB.; Choong, YS., Saito, A., Wahab, H., Najimudin, N., Watanabe, N., Osada, H., and Ong, E.:
    "In silico investigation of a HIV-1 Vpr inhibitor binding site: Potential for virtual screening and anti-HIV drug design."
    Mol. Infomatics 33, 742-748 (2014)
  5. L-C. Ooi, N. Watanabe, Y. Futamura, SF. Sulaiman, I. Darah, and H. Osada:
    "Identification of small molecule inhibitors of p27Kip1 ubiquitination by high-throughput screening."
    Cancer Sci. 104, 1461-1467 (2013)
  6. K. Kasahara, H. Goto, I. Izawa, T. Kiyono, N. Watanabe, S. Elowe, EA. Nigg and M. Inagaki:
    "PI 3-kinase-dependent phosphorylation of Plk1-Ser99 promotes its association with 14-3-3γ and is required for metaphase-anaphase transition."
    Nat. Commun. 4, 1882 doi: 10.1038/ncomms2879 (2013)
  7. Y. Kondoh, H. Osada:
    "High-throughput Screening Identifies Small Molecule Inhibitors of Molecular Chaperones. (Review Article)"
    Curr Pharm Des. 19, 473-492 (2013)
  8. N. Watanabe, H. Osada:
    "Phosphorylation-dependent protein-protein interaction modules as potential molecular targets for cancer therapy. (Review Article)"
    Current Drug Targets 13, 1654-1658 (2012)
  9. Futamura Y, Kawatani M, Kazami S, Tanaka K, Muroi M, Shimizu T, Tomita K, Watanabe N, Osada H.:
    "Morphobase, an Encyclopedic Cell Morphology Database, and its Use for Drug Target Identification."
    Chem. Biol. 19, 1620-1630 (2012)
  10. E.B. Ong, N. Watanabe, A. Saito, Y. Futamura, K.H. Abd El Galil, A. Koito, N. Najimudin, H. Osada:
    "Vipirinin, a coumarin-based HIV-1 Vpr Inhibitor, interacts with a hydrophobic region of Vpr."
    J. Biol. Chem. 286, 14049-14056 (2011)

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Nobumoto Watanabe
Unit Leader

Core Members

Florence Hui Ping Tan
International Program Associate
Hideaki Konno
Technical Staff I
Kaori Honda
Technical Staff I
Tomomi Sekine
Technical Staff I
Emiko Sanada
Technical Staff I

Contact information

Chemical Biology Building, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

Email: nwatanab [at]

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