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Teaching Staff

Dr. OKURO, Kou

Dr. OKURO, Kou

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, HKU

B.Sc. (Keio University); Ph.D. (The University of Tokyo)

  • 3910 2195
  • Room 106, Hui Oi Chow Science Building, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong



Supramolecular Chemistry for Engineering of Biomolecular Interfaces

The surface of biomolecules plays essential roles in molecular recognition, binding, self-assembly, bio-distribution, and so forth. Engineering of biomolecular surfaces or "interfaces" is an important subject in the fields of chemical biology, biomaterial sciences, and medical sciences, for modulation and/or control of biomolecular functions. Our objective is to develop new molecular motifs for engineering of biomolecular interfaces based on supramolecular chemistry.




Guanidinium-based "Molecular Glues"


As a "universal" molecular tool for engineering biomolecular interfaces, we have developed "molecular glues" bearing multiple guanidinium ion pendants. Molecular glues can tightly adhere to the surface of biomolecules via multivalent salt-bridges with oxyanions. By means of molecular glues, we are trying to build functional biomolecular assemblies (project 1) and manipulate biomolecular functions (project 2). We are also developing a new soft materials consisting molecular glues and their derivatives (project 3).



Selected Publications

The title will be announced soon.  Zhaocun Shen,* Yutao Sang, Tianyu Wang, Jian Jiang, Yan Meng, Yuqian Jiang, Kou Okuro,* Takuzo Aida,* Minghua Liu*, Nat. Commun. 2019, accepted. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-11840-3

Molecular Glue that Spatiotemporally Turns on Protein-Protein Interactions, Rina Mogaki, Kou Okuro,* Ryosuke Ueki, Shinsuke Sando, Takuzo Aida*, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019141, 8035-8040. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b02427

Transferrin-Appended Nanocaplet for Transcellular siRNA Delivery into Deep Tissues, Ai Kohata, P. K. Hashim, Kou Okuro,* Takuzo Aida*, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019141, 2862-2866. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b1250

Spatiotemporally Controlled Nuclear Translocation of Guests in Living Cells Using Caged Molecular Glues as Photoactivatable Tags, Rina Mogaki, Kou Okuro,* Akio Arisaka, Takuzo Aida*, J. Vis. Exp. 2019143, e58631. DOI: 10.3791/5863

Dendritic Molecular Glues with Reductively Cleavable Guanidinium Ion Pendants: Highly Efficient Intracellular siRNA Delivery via Direct Translocation, Kou Okuro,* Harei Nemoto, Rina Mogaki, Takuzo Aida*, Chem. Lett. 201847, 1232-1235. DOI: 10.124/cl.180551

Nitrobenzoxadiazole-Appended Cell Membrane Modifiers for Efficient Optoporation with Noncoherent Light, Saya Otake, Kou Okuro,* Davide Bochicchio, Giovanni M. Pavan, Takuzo Aida*, Bioconjugate Chem. 201829, 2068-2073. DOI: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.8b0027

Caged Molecular Glues as Photoactivatable Tags for Nuclear Translocation of Guests in Living Cells, Akio Arisaka, Rina Mogaki, Kou Okuro,* Takuzo Aida*, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018140, 2687-2692. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b1361

Mechanically Robust, Readily Repairable Polymers via Tailored Noncovalent Cross-linking, Yu Yanagisawa, Yiling Nan, Kou Okuro, Takuzo Aida*, Science 2018359, 72-76. DOI: 10.1126/science.aam758

Guanidinium-based "Molecular Glues" for Modulation of Biomolecular Functions, Rina Mogaki, P. K. Hashim, Kou Okuro,* Takuzo Aida*, Chem. Soc. Rev. 201746, 6480-6491. DOI: 10.1039/c7cs00647

Adhesive Photoswitch: Selective Photochemical Modulation of Enzymes under Physiological Conditions, Rina Mogaki, Kou Okuro,* Takuzo Aida*, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017139, 10072-10078. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b05151

Boronic Acid-Appended Molecular Glues for ATP-Responsive Activity Modulation of Enzymes, Kou Okuro,* Mizuki Sasaki, Takuzo Aida*, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016138, 5527-5530. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b0266

Photoinduced Bioorthogonal 1,3-Dipolar Polycycloaddition Promoted by Oxyanionic Substrates for Spatiotemporal Operation of Molecular Glues, Junichi Hatano, Kou Okuro,* Takuzo Aida*, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 201655, 193-198. DOI: 10.1002/anie.20150798

Reductively Cleavable Nanocaplets for siRNA Delivery by Template-Assisted Oxidative Polymerization, P. K. Hashim, Kou Okuro,* Shigekazu Sasaki, Yasutaka Hoashi, Takuzo Aida*, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015137, 15608-15611. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b0894

Molecular Glues for Manipulating Enzymes: Trypsin Inhibition by Benzamidine-conjugated Molecular Glues, Rina Mogaki, Kou Okuro,* Takuzo Aida*, Chem. Sci. 20156, 2802-2805. DOI: 10.1039/C5SC00524

Subnanoscale Hydrophobic Modulation of Salt Bridges in Aqueous Media, Shuo Chen, Yoshimitsu Itoh,* Takuya Masuda, Seishi Shimizu, Jun Zhao, Jing Ma, Shugo Nakamura, Kou Okuro, Hidenori Noguchi, Kouhei Uosaki, Takuzo Aida*, Science2015348, 555-559. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa2421

Structure and Shape Effects of Molecular Glue on Supramolecular Tubulin Assemblies, Matteo Garzoni, Kou Okuro, Noriyuki Ishii, Takuzo Aida, Giovanni M. Pavan*, ACS Nano 20148, 904-914. DOI: 10.1021/nn405653

Photoclickable Dendritic Molecular Glue: Noncovalent-to-Covalent Photochemical Transformation of Protein Hybrids, Noriyuki Uchida, Kou Okuro,* Yamato Niitani, Xiao Ling, Takayuki Ariga, Michio Tomishige,* Takuzo Aida*, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013135, 4684-4687. DOI: 10.1021/ja401059

Friction-Mediated Dynamic Disordering of Phospholipid Membrane by Mechanical Motions of Photoresponsive Molecular Glue: Activation of Ion Permeation, Yushi Suzuki, Kou Okuro,* Tadashi Takeuchi, Takuzo Aida*, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012134, 15273-15276. DOI: 10.1021/ja307442

Adhesion Effects of a Guanidinium Ion Appended Dendritic “Molecular Glue” on the ATP-driven Sliding Motion of Actomyosin, Kou Okuro, Kazushi Kinbara,* Kuniaki Takeda, Yuichi Inoue, Akihiko Ishijima, Takuzo Aida*, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 201049, 3030-3033. DOI: 10.1002/anie.200906139

High-water-content Mouldable Hydrogels by Mixing Clay and a Dendritic Molecular Binder, Qigang Wang, Justin L. Mynar,* Masaru Yoshida, Eunji Lee, Myongsoo Lee, Kou Okuro, Kazushi Kinbara, Takuzo Aida*, Nature 2010463, 339-343. DOI: 10.1038/nature08693

Image Analysis of α/β-Tubulin Rings in Two-dimensional Crystalline Arrays of Periodic Mesoporous Nanostructures, Noriyuki Ishii,* Kou Okuro, Kazushi Kinbara, Takuzo Aida, J. Biochem. 2010147, 555-563. DOI: 10.1093/jb/mvp201

Molecular Glues Carrying Multiple Guanidinium Ion Pendants via an Oligoether Spacer: Stabilization of Microtubules against Depolymerization, Kou Okuro, Kazushi Kinbara,* Kouhei Tsumoto, Noriyuki Ishii, Takuzo Aida*, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009131, 1626-1627. DOI: 10.1021/ja800491v

Substrate Specificity and Reaction Mechanism of Recombinant Styrene Oxide Isomerase from Pseudomonas putida S12, Kenji Miyamoto, Kou Okuro, Hiromichi Ohta*, Tetrahedron Lett. 200748, 3255-3257. DOI: 10.1016/j.tetlet.2007.03.016