Tsuyoshi Terakawa


I study molecular mechanisms of protein functions using methods such as coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulation, single-molecule fluorescence imaging, and nanopore sequencing. I am particularly interested in the proteins involved in transcription, replication, repair and higher-order strucral formation of DNA, and I would like to understand these molecular mechanisms based on physics laws. For that purpose, I believe that close combinations among experiments, theory, and simulations is essential. I am conducting research with the desire to "surprise the world a little with my research."


Projects Full Publications

MutS Corkscrewing
Using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, we visualized the dynamics of MutS, a DNA base pair mismatch recognition protein, sliding along DNA while rotating around DNA. As a result, we found that the diffusion rate of MutS changed according to the DNA bending.
Lane Switch on Nucleosome
By verifying the coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulation results with biochemical experiments and nanopore sequencing, we revealed that DNA translocases push nucleosomes along DNA. We proposed the "Lane Switching" as the molecular mechanism.
Condensin is a Motor
Single-molecule fluorescence imaging using a DNA curtain device revealed that condensin, involved in the chromatin structural formation, is a molecular motor. The results were published in Science and featured on the cover. Now, we are studying its molecular mechanism.
p53 Dancing on DNA
Using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, we visualized p53, a tumor-suppressive transcription factor, sliding on DNA. As a result, it was suggested that the DNA-binding region searches for the recognition site by "dancing" while diffusion on the DNA.