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2020.10.06

【Awards and Commendations】Masaki Tsujimura (M1), Department of applied chemistry, received a Student presentation award at the 58th annual meeting of the biophysical society of Japan.





〈Name of award and short explanation about the award〉
Student presentation award at the 58th annual meeting of the biophysical society of Japan.
This award is conferred to excellent presentations delivered by students in the annual meetings of the biophysical society of Japan.

 About awarded research〉
Anion channelrhodopsins (ACR) are light-gated anion channels that are used as neural silencing tools in optogenetics. To be used for an effective tool in optogenetics, ACR mutant proteins that can absorb effectively at a red-shifted wavelength are highly demanded. Using a quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) approach, we analyzed the mechanisms of how the protein environment shifts the absorption wavelength in ACR based on ~400 mutant structures investigated. An ACR mutant protein that was predicted to increase the absorption wavelength was expressed in HEK293T cells, and the measured absorption wavelength was 10 nm higher than that of wild type. We successfully generated an ACR mutant protein that can absorb effectively at a red-shifted wavelength based on theoretical calculations.

〈Your impression & future plan〉
I am very honored to receive the award. I appreciate Professor Hiroshi Ishikita, Research Associate Tomoyasu Noji, and everyone in the laboratory for many discussions. I would like to study harder to contribute to the understanding on the molecular mechanisms of rhodopsins.