Global COE Study Abroad Project

Keisuke Fujita(Special Rsearch Promotion Group)

Date 2012.2.24-3.2
Purpose To participate in the Biophysical Society 56th Annual Meeting and to make a oral presentation.

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1. Report on The Biophysical Society's 56th Annual Meeting.
2. Keisuke Fujita
3. Graduate school of Frontier Biosciences, Soft Biosystem Laboratory (Prof. Yanagida)
4. San Diego Convention Center
I attended the Biophysical Society's 56th Annual Meeting, held in San Diego, California on February 25-29, 2012. Thanks to this financial support, I could have a good opportunity to present my research (the title is "Single molecule measurement of the myosin-V energy transduction process") to international researchers and know a lot of cutting-edge researches in the world.

I am currently studying the mechanical properties of myosin-V by using optical tweezers system. Myosin-V is a molecular motor, which converts chemical energy into mechanical work and functions as a vesicle transporter in a cell. Optical tweezers is one of the most popular techniques to manipulate such molecular motors at single molecule level. Our group has revealed a lot of properties of molecular motors by optical tweezers experiments in the past.

One of the most interesting themes for me is that molecular motors may generate forces and directional motion by rectifying thermal fluctuations. My recent result suggests that myosin-V can produce mechanical work by rectifying thermal fluctuation more than that by a conformational change of the lever arm domain of myosin-V. I think this mechanism is used by other many molecular motors, and in fact there were several results in the meeting, which suggested the rectifying mechanism for another motor such as RNA polymerase.

Also, in the meeting, there are many researches about how single molecular motors are integrated into complex functions such as mitosis, locomotion, intracellular transport or mechanical sensory transduction. In future, we should understand whether the rectifying mechanism is also applied to higher hierarchical level of organism.

This joining the meeting was meaningful in the sense that I found a clue to improving my research and extended my knowledge about a single molecule system. Theses experience will surely lead to a good result in my future work.

Finally, I thank everyone who helped me, and the Global COE program for financial support and for providing me this great opportunity again.

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