Shinji Nagata / Associate Professor / Division of Biosciences
Department of Integrated Biosciences / / Chemical Biology, Bio-organic chemistry

Career Summary
1993: Graduated, Faculty of Agricultural Biosciences, the University of Tokyo
1998: Doctor (Agriculture), the Graduate School of the University of Tokyo
1998: Postdoctral Fellow (the University of Tokyo)
1999: Research Associate (University of Nevada, Reno)
2000: Postdoctral Fellow (the University of Tokyo)
2002: Assistant Professor (Department of Agricultural Biosciences, the University of Tokyo)
2012: Associate Professor (the University of Tokyo)

Educational Activities
Graduate School: Biochemistry and Physiology of Natural Products (Department of Agricultural Biosciences)
Undergraduate school:

Research Activities
Regulatory mechanisms of feeding behavior in insects.
We aim to elucidate the mechanisms modulating feeding behavior in insects at a molecular level. In particular, we are focusing on endocrinal regulation in feeding behavior using several model insects such as the silkworm.
Regulatory mechanisms in nutritional requirements by insects.
Like other animals, insects can survive by external nutrients from ingested diet. As insects have no ability to biosynthesize steroids and unsaturated fatty acids, those nutrients must be obtained through diet. We are focusing on the key actions that insects as well as other animals take to select appropriate nutrients even though they lack visual information. We aim to understand the intuitive mechanisms capable of detecting the suitable (metabolisable) nutrients at the molecular level using insects.

1. Morooka N., Nagata S., Shirai K., Kiguchi K., and Nagasawa H. Identification and characterization of a feeding-modulating peptide, hemolymph major anionic peptide (HemaP) from the sweetpotato hornworm, Agrius convolvuli. 2012. FEBS Journal. 279(1):168-79.
2. Nagata S., Matsumoto S., Nakane T., Ohara A., Morooka N., Konuma T., Nagai C., and Nagasawa H. Starvation reduces short neuropeptide F-1, -2, and -3 levels in the brain of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Frontiers in Experimental Endocrinology. 2012. 3:e3.
3. Konuma T., Morooka N., Nagasawa H., and Nagata S. Knockdown of the adipokinetic hormone receptor increases feeding frequency in the two-spotted cricket Gryllus bimaculatus. Endocrinology. 2012. 153(7):3111-22.
4. Nagata S., Matsumoto S., Mizoguchi A., and Nagasawa H. Identification of cDNAs encoding allatotropin and allatotropin-like peptides from the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Peptides. 2012 Mar;34(1):98-105.
5. Nagata S., Morooka N., Asaoka K., and Nagasawa H. Identification of a novel hemolymph peptide that modulates silkworm feeding motivation. 2011. J Biol Chem. 286. 7161-7170.
6. Nagata S. and Nagasawa H. Sterol composition in larvae of the silkworm, Bombyx mori larvae. 2011. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 75(5):1003-1005.
7. Nagata S., Morooka N., Matsumoto S., Kawai T., and Nagasawa H. Effects of neuropeptides on feeding initiation in larvae of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. 2011. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 172. 90-95.
8. Nagai C., Nagata S., and Nagasawa H. Effects of crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH) on the transcript expression of carbohydrate metabolism-related enzyme genes in the kuruma prawn, Marsupenaeus japonicus. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 172(2):293-304.

Other Activities
The Japan society for bioscience, biotechnology, and agrochemistry (JSBBA)
The Japan society of comparative endocrinology (JSCP)

Future Plan
We have focused on the regulatory mechanisms in insect feeding behavior in terms of endocrinal control. I hope that different fields of knowledge will increase our understanding of the mechanisms behind how animals are forced to motivate the intuitive actions for feeding using insects.

Messages to Students
In our laboratory, we aim to use insects to understand the underlying strategies used by animals to survive. A number of the techniques and devices required for such investigation are available for use, including the purification of biologically active compounds, protein and peptide purification, molecular cloning, intracellular signaling, and bioimaging. This equipment is designed to help fulfill your research needs and interests. Let us discover something new together.