Assistant Professor: Kazuto Ohashi
Kynurenic acid (KA) is a tryptophan metabolite and is produced by kynurenine aminotransferases (KATs). It is known that KA interacts with cell surface receptors (GPR35 and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor). Altered level of KA is associated with type2 diabetes and depression. Although KA is produced from bacteria to human, its intracellular physiological function and metabolic regulation remain poorly understood.
I aim to elucidate an intracellular function and metabolism of KA. I will study the importance of KA in cell metabolism and physiology using engineered yeast cells deleted for KATs. Also, I will investigate the enzymatic properties of purified KATs to understand the regulation mechanisms of KA synthesis.
① Genetic and biochemical study on physiological roles of KA
② Enzymatic study on regulation mechanisms of KATs
kynurenic acid, kynurenine pathway, kynurenine aminotransferase, NAD+, NADP+, NADH, NADPH, yeast, mitochondria
1) Kazuto Ohashi, Shigeyuki Kawai, and Kousaku Murata
Secretion of Quinolinic Acid, an Intermediate in the Kynurenine Pathway, for Utilization in NAD+ Biosynthesis in the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Eukaryotic Cell, 12, 648-653 (2013)