Institute  of  Microbial  Chemistry


  • Dec. 7, 2023

    【News Release】
    Under the JST (Japan Science and Technology Agency) Strategic Basic Research Programs, Nobuo Noda, a specially appointed researcher in the Laboratory of Structural Biology (Professor at Hokkaido University), Tatsuro Maruyama, a senior researcher, and Md. Jahangir Alam, a postdoctoral researcher, in collaboration with the group led by Professor Hitoshi Nakatogawa at Tokyo Institute of Technology, have succeeded for the first time in reconstituting in vitro the membrane-shaping process required to form autophagosomes. They have shown that Atg8, a protein that plays a central role in autophagy, and a group of enzymes that carry out the lipidation reaction of Atg8 are responsible for this process. The results of this research have been published online in the British scientific journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

    Mechanism that shapes autophagosomes by forming a flexible web
    ~The path to developing drugs that specifically regulate autophagy


  • Jul. 19, 2023

    【News Release】
    The H. pylori oncoprotein induces stomach epithelial hyperplasia by impairing planar cell polarity signaling.

    The strongest risk factor for gastric cancer is infection with Helicobacter pylori strains that inject the oncoprotein CagA into gastric epithelial cells. Now, an international research group led by Dr. Masanori Hatakeyama (Head, Laboratory of Microbial Carcinogenesis, Institute of Microbial Chemistry; Project Professor, Institute for Genetic Medicine, Hokkaido University) and Dr. Atsushi Takahashi-Kanemitsu (Assistant Professor, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine) found that CagA promotes gastric carcinogenesis by interfering with Wnt-mediated planar cell polarity (Wnt/PCP) signaling. They first demonstrated that ectopic expression of CagA disrupted Wnt/PCP–dependent morphogenetic processes in Xenopus embryogenesis. Based on this finding, they next generated transgenic mic that specifically express H. pylori CagA in the stomach epithelial cells and found hyperproliferation of pyloric gland base cells, which contain pyloric stem cells and the progenitor cells in the mouse stomach. CagA interfered with the signaling pathway by causing the mislocalization of Van Gogh-like (VANGL), a core component of the Wnt/PCP signaling complex. These findings suggest that Wnt/PCP signaling plays an in important role in regulating the stem cell niche in pyloric glands.

    A research article describing this work was published online in Science Signaling on July 19, 2023 (JST).

    Related URL


  • Jun. 29, 2023

    IMC and TMS Co., Ltd. Commence Joint Research on Compound Discovery
    IMC have agreed to provide TMS with a portion of IMC's natural product library, and will begin a search for effective compounds that act on targets under consideration by TMS.


  • May. 16, 2023

    【News Release】
    The results of a research group led by Nobuo N. Noda, Specially Appointed Researcher, and Tatsuro Maruyama, Researcher in the Laboratory of Structural Biology at our institute, in collaboration with Niigata University and other universities/institutes have been published online at Molecular Cell.

    Discovery of novel mitochondrial fission factor
    ~Clarifying the mechanism of mitochondrial fission in the process of mitophagy~.


  • Mar. 30, 2023

    【News Release】
    The results of an international research collaboration between Dr. Masanori Hatakeyama, Head of the Laboratory of Microbial Carcinogenesis at our institute (IMC), and a group of researchers from RIKEN / Okayama University School of Medicine / Aichi Cancer Center / The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo / National Cancer Center Hospital / Kyoundo Hospital, Sasaki Foundation / QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, with support from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) and others, have been published in the U.S. general medical journal "The New England Journal of Medicine ".

    Genetic Factors Increase Risk of Gastric Cancer Caused by H. pylori Infection
    - H. pylori eradication may reduce genetic risk of gastric cancer -


  • Sep. 15, 2022

    Announcement of award
    We would like to announce that Dr. Masanori Hatakeyama, Head of Laboratory of Microbial Carcinogenesis and Head of Numazu Branch of IMC will receive The Takeda Prize for Medical Science on his research regarding carcinogenic signal transduction system by bacteria-derived molecules.

  • Jun. 7, 2022

    Announcement of award
    We would like to announce that the Director of IMC, Dr Shimizu, has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 17th International Conference on Bioactive Lipids in Cancer, Inflammation and Related Diseases by the Eicosanoid Research Foundation.
    The award is in recognition of his pioneering research in uncovering the molecular mechanisms of the leukotriene pathway and elucidating the molecular signal transduction of Leukotriene B4. His lifelong contributions to the field, clinical and research excellence, and extraordinary contributions to bioactive lipid research and related areas was acknowledged.


  • Apr. 1, 2022

    On April 1, Dr. Takao Shimizu was appointed as the director of the Institute of Microbial Chemistry.


  • Apr. 1, 2022

    April 1, Dr .Masanori Hatakeyama was appointed as the Head of Laboratory of Viology and Head of Numazu Branch of the Institute of Microbial Chemsitry.


  • Jul. 9, 2021

    Discovery of a mechanism for efficient autophagosome formation
    ~Revealing the molecular role of the most famous autophagy factor~


  • Oct. 27, 2020

    Elucidation of the mechanism of autophagosomal membrane expansion
    ~Disclosure of the function of Atg9, the most mysterious protein in autophagy~


  • Jan. 29, 2020

    Liquidity Is a Critical Determinant for Selective Autophagy of Protein Condensates


  • Sep. 10, 2019

    We are pleased to announce that Dr. Christopher R. Opie, a researcher in the Department of Organic Synthesis Research, won a Poster Award at the 27th International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry (ISHC) Congress.
    "Systematic Examination of Catalytic Amide Bond Formation by the Readily Accessible B3NO2 Heterocycle-Containing Molecule Pym-DATB"

  • Mar. 28, 2019

    As a related event in the 60th Science and Technology Week in 2019, we will hold a special exhibition of Hamao Umezawa Memorial Museum Meguro (HUM) on April 15 (Mon)-20 (Sat).


  • Mar. 26, 2019

    Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of providing phospholipids as building blocks for autophagosome formation
    ~Solving a historical riddle in the field of autophagy~


  • Oct. 15, 2018

    Former Chairman of MCRF, Dr. Tamio Yamakawa (5th MCRF Chairman, July 8, 2002 to March 31, 2011) passed away on October 7, 2018 (96 years old).
    Our deepest condolences to his family for their loss.

  • Oct. 11, 2018

    Collaborative research in the search for antibiotics field started at the IMC and KYORIN Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
    We have agreed to provide KYORIN Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. with natural products and analogues thereof in the possession of the IMC
    and have started collaborative research in the search for antibiotics effective against multidrug-resistant bacteria.


  • Sep. 27, 2018

    The IMC has published an advertisement article on Nature Index 2018 Rising Stars feature of Nature magazine (Volume 561, Number 7723) September 29, 2018 issue. (page. S25) Please have a look. You can see the web version at the following URL.


  • Sep. 12, 2018

    We are pleased to inform you that Dr. Masayuki Igarashi (Head of Laboratory of Microbiology) received the Sumiki-Umezawa Memorial Award in 2018 relating to his research in the“Investigation of novel antibiotics effective against multidrug resistant bacteria”

    The lecture will be held at GakushiKaikan in Tokyo on November 8, 2018.


  • Mar. 23, 2018

    It was announced in the ”Nature Index 2018 Japan” of Nature magazine that IMC was determined to be the No. 1 research institution in Japan regarding high quality publications in natural sciences. This announcement reflects the large proportion of high quality scientific articles released by the institute in the six years from 2012 to 2017.


  • Feb. 2, 2018

    We are pleased to inform you that Dr. Naoya Kumagai (Chief Researcher) received the Merck-Banyu Lectureship Award 2017 in research on “A New Frontier of Amide Chemistry”.

  • Aug. 25, 2017

    We are pleased to announce the press release on development of anti-tuberculosis drug which shows effect on extensively drug resistant TB (XDRTB) discovered at our institute (IMC).


  • Apr. 6, 2017

    Honoring Professor Dr. Masakatsu Shibasaki’s 70th birthday, the Special Issue was published in HETEROCYCLES.

  • Jan. 31, 2017

    We have developed a new highly active catalyst for direct amidation.

    Uique physicochemical and catalytic properties dictated by the B3NO2 ring system.
    H. Noda, M. Furutachi, Y. Asada, M. Shibasaki, N. Kumagai
    Nat. Chem.
    doi: 10.1038/nchem.2708