Welcome to the Yokoyama Lab

The frontier of functional and mechanistic enzymology.


Our research is driven by questions at the frontiers of the functional and mechanistic enzymology. Our target enzymes play essential roles in inheritable human disease or bacterial or fungal infectious diseases. We aim to understand the mechanisms of these enzymes and use the knowledge to discover novel therapeutics. Specifically, we are interested in:

(1) Free-radical mediated enzyme catalysis (radical enzymology).

(2) Cofactor biosynthesis in humans and pathogenic bacteria.

(3) Antifungal biosynthesis and genome mining.

(4) Fungal cell wall biosynthesis and antifungal mode of action.

We use a combination of approaches from organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology and spectroscopy with a particular focus on functional and mechanistic characterization of enzymes, small molecule characterization, bacterial and fungal/yeast genetics, synthetic organic chemistry, NMR, EPR and fluorescence microscopy.

Brad’s GG-motif paper (JACS 2015) selected for a virtual issue

Brad’s JACS 2015 paper about the peptide rescue of GG-motif mutations was selected for the JACS young investigator virtual issue.  In this paper, we reported that some of the mutations in MoaA that cause human Moco deficiency disease could be rescued by a synthetic peptide, suggesting potentials for the future development of a novel therapeutics.  Interestingly, this …

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STAT article highlights the current status of functional enzymology

An article published by STAT, a national publication medium focused on scientific and medical discoveries, highlights the current status of functional enzymology, for which Ken provided expertise.  It describes the importance of genome mining discovery of enzymes with novel functions, the interests of many enzymologists including us.

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