Bioactive Molecular Chemistry Laboratory

K. Sato

Ken-ichi Sato

Office: 23-727-1 Ext.: 3853


03/1978, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry, Tokyo Institute of Technology

S. Akai

Shoji Akai
(Assistant Professor)

Laboratory: 23-726 Ext.: 3852


03/1999, Ph.D., Department of Applied Chemistry, Kanagawa University

Research Field

Organic Chemistry, Natural Product Chemistry, Carbohydrate Chemistry.

Research Overview

Using carbohydrates and amino acids as post petrochemicals. Studying the synthesis of bioactive functionalized branched-chain natural products.

Research Subjects

  • 1.Preparing simple universal chiral building blocks, similar to molecular Lego® blocks, that have a functionalized tertiary carbon or quaternary carbon for synthesizing complex natural products.
  • 2.Synthetic studies of bioactive natural products and drug leads by using carbohydrates or amino acids.

Research Highlights:

Total synthesis of bioactive natural compounds. −−First step for developing new medicine.

Development of a novel method for the constructing universal chiral building blocks.

The amino acids and carbohydrates, commonly known as proteins and sugars and starches, that we use in our laboratory are the most abundant molecules in organisms. Polysaccharides and polypeptides, which are composed of carbohydrates and amino acids, play vital biological roles. Carbohydrates are naturally occurring organic compounds with many stereochemical attributes. Research has been inspired by biochemical events and the advent of antibiotics focused research into the synthesis and chemical modification of component sugar and amino acid units.

Most naturally occurring organic compounds are optically active chiral molecules with asymmetric carbons. Therefore, it is important to develop methods for constructing functionalized chiral center carbons. Our research concentrates on using universal chiral building blocks, similar to Lego. Building blocks make it possible to control the chirality (R,S) of functionalized asymmetric tertiary carbons or quaternary carbons in the synthesis of complex natural products. We are currently demonstrating the utility of our Lego block synthesis.

  • 1) “Total Synthesis of tetrodotoxin from myo-inositol and D-glucose by three routes: aspects for constructing complex multi-functionalized cyclitols with branched-chain structures,” Natural Product Communications, vol. 10(5), pp. 691–702 (2015).
  • 2) “A concise total synthesis of (+)-pancratistatin from D-glucose featuring the Henry reaction,” Asian Journal of Organic Chemistry, vol. 2, pp. 299–302 (2013).
Affiliated Academic Organizations

K. Sato:
The Chemical Society of Japan, The Japanese Society of Carbohydrate Chemistry, The Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan, The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan, and The Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry.

S. Akai:
The Chemical Society of Japan, The Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan, The Japanese Society of Carbohydrate Chemistry, American Chemical Society.

Current members
◯ Professors: 1 ◯ Assistant Professors: 1
◯ Postgraduates (M.C.): 1 ◯ Undergraduates: 12

Facilities: Ultra-low refrigerated-heating circulators, microwave reactor, high-performance liquid chromatography system, Fourier transform-infrared spectrometer.