Pharmaron lecture: Professor Hideaki Oikawa visited SCBB

Author:    Time:2019-10-24 10:05:52    Hits:

On October 21, 2019, Prof. Hideaki Oikawa of the University of Hokkaido received the “Pharmaron lecture Award” and delivered a research seminar entitled “Total biosynthesis and genome mining of fungal natural products” at SCBB. Faculty members and students actively participated in the seminar and had in-depth discussions on the topic with Professor Oikawa.

In his seminar, professor Oikawa illustrated natural products discovery via genome mining and reconstitution of terpenoid biosynthetic related pathway in fungal host. Firstly, professor Oikawa described the diversification of indole diterpene Shearinine by flavoprotein oxidase. Next, he presented the original study of a novel P450 complex from Alternaria brassicicola that can convert brassicicene to either brassicicene L or brassicicene O by the reconstitution in Aspergillus oryzae expression system. Professor Oikawa further discussed the current understanding of the cyclization mechanisms involved in the biosynthesis of sesterterpenes. He cited the statement of Christiannsan that unlike other enzyme, terpene related synthase “does not seem to do anything”, but provides an environment for lower potential energy to select the desired products. Finally he discussed his experience in the reconstituted the biosynthetic pathway of diterpene Pleuromutilin in Aspergillus oryae host. In summary, Professor Hideaki Oikawa provided many elegant examples of biosynthetic pathway reconstituted in fungus host could allow the isolation of many terpenoid compounds with diverse structures and biological activities.

At the end of the lecture, Professor Tao Ye, Deputy Dean of SCBB, presented the Pharmaron Lecture Award to Professor Oikawa. After the research seminar, Professor Oikawa had a happy lunch conversation with SCBB students. During the meeting, Professor Oikawa introduced the working schedules and scientific management of postgraduate students in his research laboratory. Finally, Professor Oikawa asked why the students studied chemistry. He thereafter offered his own interpretation of this question with the answer of “interest”.

Lecture by Professor Oikawa

Professor Oikawa obtained the pharmaron lecture award

Note: Genome mining is a new research strategy for discovering natural products guided by gene cluster sequences. It can also directly link natural product structures with synthetic pathways to facilitate biosynthesis and combinatorial biosynthesis research.


Hideaki Oikawa obtained his PhD from Hokkaido University in 1984. He worked in the research group of Professor D. E.Cane at Brown University (1984-1985) and in the group of Professor K. Isono at RIKEN (1985-1986) as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Hideaki Oikawa then worked at Hokkaido University, where he was promoted to full professor in 2003. He received a number of awards including the 2019 JSBBA Award from the Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry. Professor Oikawa’s research interests concern biosynthesis of natural products including engineering of biosynthesis of natural products, combinatorial biosynthesis and reaction mechanismon C-C bond forming enzymes.