Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science

Enzyme Research Team

Team Leader: Keiji Numata (Ph.D.)
Keiji  Numata(Ph.D.)

"Enzyme Research Team" aims to create "new functional enzymes" as well as to develop "new plants and microorganisms" using organellar engineering to synthesize biopolymers such as polyamide/poly(amino acid)/peptide. One of the final goals of the laboratory is to develop the bioprocess to produce and design the biopolymers as structural materials.

Main Research Field


Related Research Fields

Chemistry / Biological Sciences / Agricultural sciences

Research Subjects

  • Chemoenzymatic synthesis of poly(amino acid)/polypeptide to create structural/functional materials.
  • Structure-function relationship of structural proteins
  • Organelle engineering for polymer synthesis by plant and phototrophic bacteria

Selected Publications

  1. Yazawa, K., Ishida, K., Masunaga, H., Hikima, T., and Numata, K.:
    "Influence of water content on the β-sheet formation, thermal stability, water removal, and mechanical properties of silk materials."
    Biomacromolecules in press.
  2. Tsuchiya, K. and Numata, K.:
    "Papain-Catalyzed Chemoenzymatic Synthesis of Telechelic Polypeptides Using Bis(leucine ethyl ester) Initiator."
    Macromolecular Bioscience. in press.
  3. Ma, Y., Sato, R., Li, Z., and Numata, K.:
    "Chemoenzymatic synthesis of oligo(L-cysteine) for use as thermal stable bio-based material."
    Macromolecular Bioscience, Volume 16, pp151–159, 2016.
  4. Numata, K., Sato, R., Yazawa, K., Hikima, T., and Masunaga, H.:
    "Crystal structure and physical properties of Antheraea yamamai silk fibers: long poly(alanine) sequences are partially in crystalline region."
    Polymer, Volume 77, pp87-94, 2015.
  5. Numata, K., Masunaga, H., Hikima, T., Sasaki, S., Sekiyama, K., and Takata, M.:
    "Use of extension-deformation-based crystallization of silk fibres to differentiate their functions in nature."
    Soft Matter, Volume 11, pp6335-6342, 2015.
  6. Ageitos, J.M., Chuah, J.-C. and Numata, K.:
    "Chemo-Enzymatic Synthesis of Linear and Branched Cationic Peptides: Evaluation as Gene Carriers,"
    Macromolecular Bioscience, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp990–1003, 2015.
  7. Numata, K. and Morisaki, K.:
    "Screening of marine bacteria to synthesize polyhydroxyalkanoate from lignin: Contribution of lignin derivatives to biosynthesis by Oceanimonas doudoroffii."
    ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp569–573, 2015.
  8. Numata, K., Motoda, Y., Watanabe, S., Osanai, T., and Kigawa, T.:
    "Co-expression of two polyhydroxyalkanoate synthase subunits from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 by cell free synthesis and their specific activity for polymerization of 3-hydroxybutyryl-CoA."
    Biochemistry, Volume 54, Issue 6, pp1401–1407, 2015.
  9. Wong, Y.-M., Hoshino, Y., Sudesh, K., Miura, Y., and Numata, K.:
    "Optimization of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) as an artificial amidase."
    Biomacromolecules, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp411-421, 2015.
  10. Chuah, J.-C., Yoshizumi, T., Kodama, Y., and Numata, K.:
    "Gene introduction into the mitochondria of Arabidopsis thaliana via peptide-based carriers."
    Scientific Reports, 5, 7751 2015.

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Keiji Numata
Team Leader

Core Members

Takeshi Yoshizumi
Senior Research Scientist
Kosuke Tsuchiya
Senior Research Scientist
Ali Andres Defrance Malay
Research Scientist
Mieko Higuchi
Research Scientist
Jo-Ann Chuah
Postdoctoral Researcher
Chayatip Insomphun
Postdoctoral Researcher
Kenjiro Yazawa
Postdoctoral Researcher
Nur Alia Oktaviani
Postdoctoral Researcher
Haejoo Lee
Postdoctoral Researcher
Kenta Katayama
Postdoctoral Researcher
Monirul Islam Md
Postdoctoral Researcher
Yoko Motoda
Technical Staff I
Yoko Horii
Technical Staff I
Ayaka Tateishi
Technical Staff II
Nao Ifuku
Technical Staff II