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RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science Bioprobe Application Research Unit

Unit Leader: Nobumoto Watanabe (D.Sci.)

Research Summary

Nobumoto  Watanabe(D.Sci.)

In collaboration with a group of Max Planck Institute (MPI) of Molecular Physiology (group of Prof. Herbert Waldmann), we study the cell cycle control through the identification of small molecule inhibitors of the proteins that have an important role for the progression of cell division. We propose the collaboration of these two groups by taking the merits of both different approaches by frequently exchanging materials, technologies and information. For example, after sending compounds of RIKEN NPDepo chemical library to MPI, the MPI group will screen for compounds that arrest cell division with interesting phenotypes. Then we will analyze the mechanism of action of the compounds by identifying the target proteins of the compounds. In the opposite way, MPI group will provide their compounds for the screening by the high throughput system of us. The isolated interesting compounds will be deeply analyzed by the MPI cell biology group.

Main Research Fields

  • Complex Systems

Related Research Fields

  • Chemistry
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biology


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

Selected Publications

  • 1.Aretz, J., Kondoh, Y., Honda, K., Anumala, UR., Nazaré, M., Watanabe, N., Osada, H. and Rademacher, C.:
    "Chemical fragment arrays for rapid druggability assessment."
    Chem. Commun., 52, 9067-9070 (2016)
  • 2.Subedi A, Futamura Y, Nishi M, Ryo A, Watanabe N, Osada H.:
    "High-throughput screening identifies artesunate as selective inhibitor of cancer stemness: Involvement of mitochondrial metabolism."
    Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 477(4): 737-742 (2016)
  • 3.Watanabe, N., Osada, H.:
    "Small molecules that target phosphorylation dependent protein-protein interaction."
    Bioorg Med. Chem. S0968-0896(16) 30171-30177 (2016)
  • 4.Subedi, A., Shimizu, T., Ryo, A., Sanada, E., Watanabe, N., and Osada, H.:
    "Discovery of novel selenium derivatives as Pin1 inhibitors by high-throughput screening."
    Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 474, 528-533 (2016).
  • 5.Zimmermann TJ, Bürger M, Tashiro E, Kondoh Y, Martinez NE, Görmer K, Rosin-Steiner S, Shimizu T, Ozaki S, Mikoshiba K, Watanabe N, Hall D, Vetter IR, Osada H, Hedberg C, Waldmann H.:
    "Boron-based inhibitors of acyl protein thioesterases 1 and 2."
    Chembiochem 14, 115-122 (2013)
  • 6.M. Bürger, T.J. Zimmermann, Y. Kondoh, P. Stege, N. Watanabe, H. Osada, H. Waldmann, I.R. Vetter.:
    "Crystal structure of the predicted phospholipase LYPLAL1 reveals unexpected functional plasticity in spite of close relationship to acyl protein thioesterases."
    J Lipid Res. 53, 43-50 (2012)

Recent Research Results

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Nobumoto Watanabe
Unit Leader

Core members

Makoto Kawatani
Senior Research Scientist
Ziyu Liu
International Program Associate
Xintong Liu
International Program Associate
Emiko Sanada
Technical Staff I

Contact Information

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

Email: nwatanab [at] riken.jp