Takeshi N Sasaki

Nagoya University, Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken, Japan

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Publications (5)14.9 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: An important unresolved problem associated with actomyosin motors is the role of Brownian motion in the process of force generation. On the basis of structural observations of myosins and actins, the widely held lever-arm hypothesis has been proposed, in which proteins are assumed to show sequential structural changes among observed and hypothesized structures to exert mechanical force. An alternative hypothesis, the Brownian motion hypothesis, has been supported by single-molecule experiments and emphasizes more on the roles of fluctuating protein movement. In this study, we address the long-standing controversy between the lever-arm hypothesis and the Brownian motion hypothesis through in silico observations of an actomyosin system. We study a system composed of myosin II and actin filament by calculating free-energy landscapes of actin-myosin interactions using the molecular dynamics method and by simulating transitions among dynamically changing free-energy landscapes using the Monte Carlo method. The results obtained by this combined multi-scale calculation show that myosin with inorganic phosphate (Pi) and ADP weakly binds to actin and that after releasing Pi and ADP, myosin moves along the actin filament toward the strong-binding site by exhibiting the biased Brownian motion, a behavior consistent with the observed single-molecular behavior of myosin. Conformational flexibility of loops at the actin-interface of myosin and the N-terminus of actin subunit is necessary for the distinct bias in the Brownian motion. Both the 5.5-11 nm displacement due to the biased Brownian motion and the 3-5 nm displacement due to lever-arm swing contribute to the net displacement of myosin. The calculated results further suggest that the recovery stroke of the lever arm plays an important role in enhancing the displacement of myosin through multiple cycles of ATP hydrolysis, suggesting a unified movement mechanism for various members of the myosin family.
    PLoS Computational Biology 04/2014; 10(4):e1003552. · 4.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ab initio protein structure prediction is a challenging problem that requires both an accurate energetic representation of a protein structure and an efficient conformational sampling method for successful protein modeling. In this article, we present an ab initio structure prediction method which combines a recently suggested novel way of fragment assembly, dynamic fragment assembly (DFA) and conformational space annealing (CSA) algorithm. In DFA, model structures are scored by continuous functions constructed based on short- and long-range structural restraint information from a fragment library. Here, DFA is represented by the full-atom model by CHARMM with the addition of the empirical potential of DFIRE. The relative contributions between various energy terms are optimized using linear programming. The conformational sampling was carried out with CSA algorithm, which can find low energy conformations more efficiently than simulated annealing used in the existing DFA study. The newly introduced DFA energy function and CSA sampling algorithm are implemented into CHARMM. Test results on 30 small single-domain proteins and 13 template-free modeling targets of the 8th Critical Assessment of protein Structure Prediction show that the current method provides comparable and complementary prediction results to existing top methods.
    Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 04/2011; 79(8):2403-17. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    Takeshi N Sasaki, Hikmet Cetin, Masaki Sasai
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    ABSTRACT: De novo prediction of protein structures, the prediction of structures from amino acid sequences which are not similar to those of hitherto resolved structures, has been one of the major challenges in molecular biophysics. In this paper, we develop a new method of de novo prediction, which combines the fragment assembly method and the simulation of physical folding process: structures which have consistently assembled fragments are dynamically searched by Langevin molecular dynamics of conformational change. The benchmarking test shows that the prediction is improved when the candidate structures are cross-checked by an empirically derived score function.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 06/2008; 369(2):500-6. · 2.41 Impact Factor
  • Takeshi N. Sasaki, Masaki Sasai
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    ABSTRACT: A new multi-body energy function is constructed to reproduce protein structure from sequence. As a benchmark test of the method, low energy structures of α, α/β, and β proteins are searched with the Langevin molecular dynamics calculation. Similarities among thus generated structures and the native ones showed that the present approach is a step forward in constructing the method which has the physical analogy for the folding process.
    Chemical Physics Letters 01/2005; 402:102-106. · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    Hironori K. Nakamura, Takeshi N. Sasaki, Masaki Sasai
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    ABSTRACT: Non-exponential relaxation in a simplified lattice model of folding is studied with Monte Carlo (MC) calculation. As folding proceeds, population of the native conformation approaches its equilibrium value with the stretched exponential form. As temperature increases, relaxation becomes less stretched, and for 2 sequences out of 5 tested ones, the relaxation becomes faster than exponential at high temperature. Energy landscape of the model is analyzed and flow of trajectories is followed to explain temperature dependence of kinetics. Measurement of stretched or shrunken kinetics of folding should help to understand nature of intermediates and ruggedness of the landscape.
    Chemical Physics Letters 01/2001; 347(1):247-254. · 2.15 Impact Factor