1. Home
  2. Research
  3. Centers & Labs
  4. RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research

RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research Laboratory for Nonnatural Amino Acid Technology

Team Leader: Kensaku Sakamoto (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

Kensaku  Sakamoto(Ph.D.)

We plan to genetically encode novel and useful amino acids, in order to increase the functional and structural variety in recombinant proteins and provide unique technical supports for structural biology and epigenetics drug development, and also plan to carry forward the cell-free translation technology.

Main Research Fields

  • Biological Sciences

Related Research Fields

  • Medicine, Dentistry & Pharmacy


  • Synthetic amino acid
  • Protein engineering
  • Protein synthesis
  • Biologics
  • Antibody

Selected Publications

  • 1.Sakamoto, K. and Hayashi, A.:
    "Synthetic tyrosine tRNA molecules with noncanonical secondary structures"
    Int. J. Mol. Sci. 20(1), 92 (2019)
  • 2.Teramoto, H., Amano, Y., Iraha, F., Kojima, K., Ito, T., and Sakamoto, K.:
    "Genetic code expansion of the silkworm Bombyx mori to functionalize silk fiber"
    ACS Synth. Biol. 7, 801-806 (2018)
  • 3.Ohtake, K., and Mukai, T., Iraha, F., Takahashi, M., Haruna, K., Date, M., Yokoyama, K., and Sakamoto, K.:
    "Engineering an automaturing transglutaminase with enhanced thermostability by genetic code expansion with two codon reassignments"
    ACS Synth. Biol. 7, 2170-2176 (2018)
  • 4.Handoko, L., Kaczkowski, B., Hon C.-C., Lizio, M., Wakamori, M., Matsuda T., Ito T., Jeyamohan P., Sato, Y., Sakamoto, K., Yokoyama, S., Kimura, H., Minoda, A., and Umehara T.:
    "JQ1 affects BRD2-dependent and independent transcription regulation without disrupting H4-hyperacetylated chromatin states"
    Epigenetics 13, 410-431 (2018)
  • 5.Takahashi, M., and Sakamoto, K.:
    "Engineering of Escherichia coli Β-lactamase TEM-1 variants showing higher activity under acidic conditions than at the neutral pH"
    Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 505, 333-337 (2018)
  • 6.Yamaguchi, A., Iraha, F., Ohtake, K., and Sakamoto, K.:
    "Pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase with a unique architecture enhances the availability of lysine derivatives in synthetic genetic codes"
    Molecules 23, 2460 (2018)
  • 7.Osamura, T., and OkudaM., Yamaguchi, A., Ohtake, K., Sakamoto, K., and Takimura, Y.:
    "Variants of the industrially relevant protease KP-43 with suppressed activity under alkaline conditions developed using expanded genetic codes"
    Biochem. Biophys. Rep., 17, 93-96 (2018)
  • 8.Yamaguchi, A., Matsuda, T., Ohtake, K., Yanagisawa, T., Yokoyama, S., Fujiwara, Y., Watanabe, T., Hohsaka, T., and Sakamoto, K.:
    "Incorporation of a doubly functionalized synthetic amino acid into proteins for creating chemical and light-induced conjugates"v
    Bioconjug Chem. 27, 198-206 (2015)
  • 9.Mukai, T., Yamaguchi, A., Ohtake, K., Takahashi, M., Hayashi, A., Iraha, F., Kira, S., Yanagisawa, T., Yokoyama, S., Hoshi, H., Kobayashi, T. and Sakamoto, K.:
    "Reassignment of a rare sense codon to a non-canonical amino acid in Escherichia coli"
    Nucleic. Acids Res. 43, 8111-8122 (2015)
  • 10.Mukai, T., Hoshi, H., Ohtake, K., Takahashi, M., Yamaguchi, A., Hayashi, A., Yokoyama, S., and Sakamoto, K.:
    "Highly reproductive Escherichia coli cells with no specific assignment to the UAG codon"
    Sci Rep. 5: 9699 (2015)

Recent Research Results

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Kensaku Sakamoto
Team Leader

Core members

Motoaki Wakiyama
Deputy Team Leader
Akira Wada
Senior Research Scientist
Akiko Matsumoto
Senior Technical Scientist
Kazumasa Ohtake
Research Scientist
Mihoko Takahashi
Technical Scientist

Contact Information

W223 2F West Research Building
1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan
Tel: +81-(0)45-503-9459
Email: kensaku.sakamoto [at] riken.jp