Centers & Labs

Global Research Cluster

Systems Glycobiology Research Group

Group Director: Naoyuki Taniguchi (M.D., Ph.D.)
Naoyuki  Taniguchi(M.D., Ph.D.)

Over 50% of proteins are glycosylated and glycosylation reaction is one of the most important posttranslational modifications of proteins. The sugar chains have different kinds of function, which we are unable to understand from the research on DNA, RNA and proteins. This project focuses on structure and functions of glycoproteins, and we aim to elucidate (1) abnormality of signaling via membrane receptor glycans, and its underlying mechanism of diseases, (2) novel metabolic pathway of free glycans and its role in the quality control of glycoproteins, (3) tertiary structures of glycans and their roles in molecular recognition, and to develop (4) single-molecule imaging of glycans. Through the above researches, we will pursue the basic research, which may develop biomarkers and therapeutics of the diseases such as cancer, infectious diseases, life style-related diseases, and neuromuscular degenerative diseases. Through the above researches, we will establish systems glycobiology in order to understand glycan structure and function from integrative and dynamic aspects, which may develop biomarkers and therapeutics of the diseases such as cancer, infectious diseases, life style-related diseases, and neuromuscular degenerative diseases.
Our group collaborates with Max Planck Institute and continuously contributes to the activities of Japan Consortium for Glycobiology and Glycotechnology (JCGG), which is launched to integrate glycobiology and glycotechnology in Japan.

Research Subjects

  • Glycans in the growth receptors and underlying mechanism of diseases
  • Molecular mechanism of non-lysosomal catabolic pathway for N-glycans
  • Development of conformational analysis of glycans

Selected Publications

  1. Kizuka Y, Kitazume S, Fujinawa R, Saito T, Iwata N, Saido TC, Nakano M, Yamaguchi Y, Hashimoto Y, Staufenbiel M, Hatsuta H, Murayama S, Manya H, Endo T, Taniguchi N.:
    “An aberrant sugar modification of BACE1 blocks its lysosomal targeting in Alzheimer's disease.”
    EMBO Mol Med. 15;7(2), 175-89. (2015)
  2. Kitazume S, Imamaki R, Kurimoto A, Ogawa K, Kato M, Yamaguchi Y, Tanaka K, Ishida H, Ando H, Kiso M, Hashii N, Kawasaki N and Taniguchi N.:
    “Interaction of platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM) with α2,6-sialylated glycan regulates its cell surface residency and anti-apoptotic role.”
    J Biol Chem. 289(40), 27604-27613 (2014)
  3. Kobayashi S, Fujinawa R, Ota F, Kobayashi S, Angata T, Ueno M, Maeno T, Kitazume S, Yoshida K, Ishii T, Gao C, Ohtsubo K, Yamaguchi Y, Betsuyaku T, Kida K and Taniguchi N.:
    “A Single Dose of LPS into Mice with Emphysema Mimics Human COPD Exacerbation as Assessed by Micro-CT.”
    Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. 9(6), 971-977 (2013)
  4. Kanekiyo K, Inamori K, Kitazume S, Sato K, Maeda J, Higuchi M, Kizuka Y, Korekane H, Matsuo I, Honke K and Taniguchi N.:
    “Loss of branched O-mannosyl glycans in astrocytes accelerates remyelination.”
    J. Neurosci. 33(24), 10037-10047 (2013)
  5. Huang, C., Harada, Y., Hosomi, A., Masahara-Negishi, Y., Seino, J., Fujihira, H., Funakoshi, Y., Suzuki, T., Dohmae, N., and Suzuki, T.:
    “Endo-beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase forms N-GlcNAc protein aggregates during ER-associated degradation in Ngly1-defective cells.”
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 112, 1398-1403 (2015)
  6. Harada, Y., Nakajima, K., Masahara-Negishi, Y., Freeze, H. H., Angata, T., Taniguchi, N., and Suzuki, T.:
    "Metabolically programmed quality control system for dolichol-linked oligosaccharides."
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110, 19366-19371 (2013)
  7. Haga, Y., Ishii, K., Hibino, K., Sako, Y., Ito, Y., Taniguchi, N., and Suzuki, T.:
    "Visualizing specific protein glycoforms by transmembrane fluorescence energy transfer."
    Nature Communications 3, 907 (2012)
  8. Yamaguchi Y, Yamaguchi T, Kato K.:
    “Structural analysis of oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates using NMR.”
    Adv Neurobiol. 9, 165-83 (2014)
  9. Nagae M, Yamaguchi Y.:
    “Three-dimensional structural aspects of protein-polysaccharide interactions.”
    Int J Mol Sci. 15(3), 3768-83 (2014)
  10. Hanashima S, Fujiwara N, Matsumoto K, Iwasaki N, Zheng GQ, Torigoe H, Suzuki K, Taniguchi N, Yamaguchi Y.:
    “A solution 17O-NMR approach for observing an oxidized cysteine residue in Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase.”
    Chem Commun (Camb). 49(14), 1449-51 (2013)


Contact information

2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

    Email: tani52 [at]