Minoru Sakurai
Minoru Sakurai

Professor, Center for Biological Resources and Informatics
PhD 1987, Tokyo Institute of Technology
E-mail: msakurai(at)bio.titech.ac.jp
Office: Room 504-1A, B1·B2-A building, Suzukakedai campus

Areas of Research: Biophysics, Computational Chemistry.

Keywords: Computer Simulation, Transporter, Photoreceptor, Anhydrobiosis (life without water), Trehalose, LEA Protein, Energy-Free Biopreservation.

Research interest:

  1. Elucidation of the structure-function relationships of various proteins (transporter, photoreceptor, etc.) using the first principle computer simulations including QM, MD and QM/MM calculations.
  2. Elucidation of the molecular mechanism of anhydrobiosis (life without water) using various physico-chemical experiments and computer simulations, and application of its results to energy-free long-term biopreservation.

Selected publications


  1. Tadaomi Furuta, Yukiko Sato, Minoru Sakurai, Structural Dynamics of the Heterodimeric ABC Transporter TM287/288 Induced by ATP and Substrate Binding, Biochemistry, 55(48), 6730-6738 (2016) doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.6b00947
  2. Takao Furuki, Takahiro Watanabe, Tadaomi Furuta, Kiyoshi Takano, Ryo Shirakashi, Minoru Sakurai, The dry preservation of giant vesicles using a Group 3 LEA protein model peptide and its molecular mechanism, Bull. Chem. Soc. Jpn., 89(12), 1493-1499 (2016) doi: 10.1246/bcsj.20160261
  3. Wei-Lin Hsu, Tadaomi Furuta, Minoru Sakurai, ATP hydrolysis mechanism in a maltose transporter explored by QM/MM metadynamics simulation, J. Phys. Chem. B, 120(43), 11102-11112 (2016) doi: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.6b07332
  4. Takao Furuki, Minoru Sakurai, Group 3 LEA protein model peptides protect enzymes against desiccation stress, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1864(9), 1237-1243 (2016) doi: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2016.04.012
  5. Hiroshi C. Watanabe, Misa Banno, Minoru Sakurai, An adaptive quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics method for infrared spectrum of water: Incorporation of the quantum effect between solute and solvent, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 18(10), 7318-7333 (2016) doi: 10.1039/C5CP07136D
  6. Honami Sakaizwa, Hiroshi C. Watanabe, Tadaomi Furuta, Minoru Sakurai, Thermal fluctuations enable rapid protein-protein associations in aqueous solution by lowering the reaction barrier, Chem. Phys. Lett., 643, 114-118 (2016) doi: 10.1016/j.cplett.2015.11.014
  7. Takao Furuki, Minoru Sakurai, Protective effect of group3 LEA model peptides on enzymes during desiccation, Cryobiol. Cryotech., 62(1), 47-51 (2016)
  8. Ryohei Yamaguchi, Takao Furuki, Tadaomi Furuta, Minoru Sakurai, Physicochemical properties of non-repeat sequences in a G3LEA protein PvLEA4, Cryobiol. Cryotech., 62(2), 133-137 (2016)
  9. Makoto Usui, Tadaomi Furuta, Minoru Sakurai, Computational study on the molecular mechanism of the desiccation tolerance induced by G3LEA proteins, Cryobiol. Cryotech., 62(2), 127-131 (2016)
  10. Tadaomi Furuta, Tomohiro Yamaguchi, Hiroaki Kato, Minoru Sakurai, Mechanism for the transport of ABC transporters by experimental and simulation studies, Seibutsu Busturi, 56(1), 005-008 (2016) doi: 10.2142/biophys.56.005


  1. Wei-Lin Hsu, Tadaomi Furuta, Minoru Sakurai, Analysis of the free energy landscapes for the open-closing dynamics of the maltose transporter ATPase MalK2 using enhanced sampling MD simulation, J. Phys. Chem. B, 119(30), 9717-9725 (2015) doi: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.5b05432
  2. Misa Banno, Hiroshi C. Watanabe, Tadaomi Furuta, Minoru Sakurai, Analysis of free energy and structural change of G3LEA peptide in the binding process to a POPC bilayer, Cryobiol. Cryotech., 61(2), 105-109 (2015)
  3. Tetsuro Yamaguchi, Rie Hatanaka, Takahiro Kikawada, Minoru Sakurai, Study on the anti-aggregation function of Group 3 LEA peptide using an in vivo assay system for intracellular amyloidogenesis, Cryobiol. Cryotech., 61(2), 111-115 (2015)

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