Takanori Otomo, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology
California Campus

Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Faculty, Graduate Program

Research Focus

Structural Biology of Autophagy

Research in the Otomo laboratory is focused on the elucidation of the structural and functional bases of proteins involved in autophagy. Autophagy is a degradation-recycling process that plays crucial roles in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. The signature of autophagy is de novo formation of the double membrane-bound vesicles called autophagosomes that contain cytoplasmic materials. We aim to understand the mechanistic bases of each step of autophagosome biogenesis. We use NMR, X-ray crystallography, and cryo-EM to determine the structures of autophagy proteins and employ biochemical methods to dissect mechanisms. New knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of autophagy emerging from our work is expected to advance our understanding of autophagy and its related human diseases, such as cancer, neurodegeneration, and infections.


Ph.D., Osaka University, 2001

Professional Experience

2013-2018 Assistant Professor, Integrative Structural and Computational Biology (ISCB), Scripps Research
2007-2012 Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology, Scripps Research

Selected References

All Publications

Maeda, S., Yamamoto, H., Kinch, L.N., Garza, C.M., Takahashi, S., Otomo, C., Grishin, N.V., Forli, S., Mizushima, N., Otomo, T.# Structure, lipid scrambling activity and role in autophagosome formation of ATG9A. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol., 2020, 12. 1194-1201. PMID: 33106659; PMCID: PMC7718406

Maeda, S., Otomo, C., Otomo, T.The autophagic membrane tether ATG2A transfers lipids between membranes. eLife, 2019, 8. pii: e45777. PMID: 31271352; PMCID: PMC6625793

Chowdhury, S.$, Otomo, C.$, Leitner, A., Ohashi, K., Aebersold, R., Lander, G.C.#Otomo, T.Insights into autophagosome biogenesis from structural and biochemical analyses of the ATG2A-WIPI4 complex. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2018,115(42):E9792-E9801. PMID: 30185561; PMCID: PMC6196511 ($: equal contributions; #: co-corresponding authors)

Ohashi, K., Otomo, T.Identification and characterization of the linear region of ATG3 that interacts with ATG7 in higher eukaryotes. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2015, 463(3):447-52. PubMed PMID: 26043688; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3839761

Metlagel, Z.$, Otomo, C.$, Takaesu, G., Otomo, T.Structural basis of ATG3 recognition by the autophagic ubiquitin-like protein ATG12. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2013, 110(47), 18844-9. PubMed PMID: 24191030; PMCID: PMC3839761 ($: equal contributions)

Otomo, C., Metlagel, Z. Takaesu, G., Otomo, T.Structure of the human ATG12~ATG5 conjugate required for LC3 lipidation in autophagy. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol., 2013, 20(1), 59-66. PubMed PMID: 23202584PMCID: PMC3540207