Eiji Morita

  • Title Associate Professor
  • Department Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Course Basic Life Science Course
  • Research Field Cell Biology, Virology
  • E-mail moritae [at]
    please substitute @ for [at]
  • Phone +81-172-39-3586


We have been conducting studies on molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interaction in the inside of the cells. The goal is to understand how the pathogens associate with host factors and usurp the cellular machinery at the molecular level, with the ultimate aim of alleviating disease induced by the infection. 

Research Theme

Our lab has been focusing on the molecular mechanisms pathogen-induced organelle biogenesis to clarify the dynamic state of pathogen and/or host factors. Several positive-strand RNA viruses dramatically rearrange the intracellular membranes of the host cell and produce unusual organelle-like structures. These membrane structures serve as a scaffold for the assembly of replication machinery by providing an organization and environment facilitating viral propagation. These structures are also known to serve as shells that protect the viruses against various cellular stress responses and allow persistent viral replication in the cytoplasm. We have been purifying replication organelle from cells infected with Dengue Virus or Japanese encephalitis virus, and performed quantitative mass spectrometry analyses. In these studies, we identified several cellular factors that are specifically recruited to viral replication complexes. We are currently focusing on the molecular functions of these newly identified cellular factors in the biosynthesis of the viral replication organelle. We are also studying the molecular mechanisms of viral particle and/or extracellular vesicle formation, and the mechanisms of selective autophagy induction seen in pathogen-infected cells. These studies may contribute to the development of novel antiviral therapies.


Education & Appointments

Graduate Fellow, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Tohoku University
PhD.: 2002, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, Medical Science.

Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Tohoku University, 

Post-doctoral Research Associate: University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry. 

2009.4-2011.11 Assistant Professor
Department of Cellular Regulation, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases (RIMD), Osaka University.

Specially-Appointed Associate Professor, Principal investigator 
Laboratory of Viral Infection, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases (RIMD), Osaka University.

Associate Professor, Principal investigator
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science, Hirosaki University


Tabata, K., Arimoto, M., Arakawa, M., Nara, A., Saito, K., Omori, H., Arai, A., Ishikawa, T., Konishi, E., Suzuki, R., Matsuura, Y., and Morita, E. Unique Requirement for ESCRT Factors in Flavivirus Particle Formation on the Endoplasmic Reticulum. Cell Reports. 2016 16(9):2339-2347

Suzuki, H., Tabata, K., Morita, E., Kawasaki, M., Kato, R., Dobson, RJ., Yoshimori, T., Wakatsuki, S. Structural basis of the autophagy-related LC3/Atg13 LIR complex: recognition and interaction mechanism. Structure. 2014 22(1):47-58.

Fujita, N.†, Morita, E. †, Itoh, T., Tanaka, A., Nakaoka, M., Osada, Y., Umemoto, T., Saitoh, T., Nakatogawa, H., Kobayashi, S., Haraguchi, T., Guan, J.L., Iwai, K., Tokunaga, F., Saito, K., Ishibashi, K., Akira, S., Fukuda, M., Noda, T., Yoshimori, T. Recruitment of the autophagic machinery to endosomes during infection is mediated by ubiquitin. J Cell Biol. 2013 203(1):115-28 †These authors contributed equally

Keyword :
1.22.2019 update

Eiji Morita