Yosuke Hoshino

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Yosuke Hoshino
Associate Member
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My primary research interest is the evolution of membrane dynamics in three domains of life and biophysical roles of polycyclic triterpenoids in the membrane system. Cellular membranes define the boundary of living entities and thus are the physical basis for their existence. Individual domains of life (archaea, bacteria and eukaryotes) possess distinct cellular membranes, respectively. Membranes of bacteria and eukaryotes share some similarities and contain fatty acid-based glycerophospholipids as major lipid components. However, eukaryotes contain two additional lipid components: sphingolipids and steroids. Steroids, a group of triterpenoids, play critical roles in the membrane organisation and the dynamic nature of the modern eukaryotic cellular membrane, together with sphingolipids. Meanwhile, bacteria contain a different type of triterpenoids called hopanoids. Although hopanoids also play a role in the membrane organisation, a eukaryotic-like dynamic regulation system has not been observed thus far. Therefore, the chemical structure of polycyclic triterpenoids is inferred to have substantial effects on the membrane organisation. In contrast, archaea contain isoprenoid-based glycerophospholipids and completely lack polycyclic triterpenoids, despite the wide distribution of those triterpenoids in the other two domains as well as the presence of biosynthesis pathways for triterpenoid precursors. This observation implies that archaea utilise an essentially different membrane organisation system, and interactions of archaeal lipids and polycyclic triterpenoids seem to have different physiological effects on host organisms. However, the nature of such interactions has never been investigated. Therefore, examining the roles of polycyclic triterpenoids in the membrane organisation of different types is of importance to biophysically characterise three domains of life and further formulate their membrane organisations in the evolutionary context


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