Department of Animal Science 

UC Davis - The University of California, Davis

Kenji Murata.

Murata Kenji Murata, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Biochemist


Phone: 530-752-6789 (office)
Phone: 530-752-9024 (Lab)
FAX: (530)752-0175


B.S., Biology, Toho University, Chiba, Japan
M.S., Developmental and Reproductive Biology, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan
Ph.D., Developmental and Reproductive Biology, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan

Research Interests

I am interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of sperm-egg interaction during the fertilization process. My emphasis is on the egg envelope glycoproteins surrounding oocyte called the zona pellucida (chorion in the fish), and enzymes modifying its structure and functions as well as egg lectins in the egg cortical granules of the fish. The long-term goal of my research is to determine the maternal genes and gene products involved in sperm-egg interactions during fertilization. Maternal fertilization genes produce proteins and glycoproteins whose functions include: 1) sperm-egg binding (cellular recognition), 2) sperm penetration through the egg envelope, 3) alteration of the egg envelope by components of the egg cortical granules to effect a block to polyspermy and, 4) modification of the egg envelope to protect and regulate the environment for the developing embryo.

I am currently focused on the three reproductive processes in fish, outlined below: 1) the mechanisms of the gene expression of the precursor proteins of the egg envelope glycoproteins in the liver of spawning females under the influence of estrogen, 2) the processing and assembly mechanisms of glycoproteins composing the egg envelope, 3) the mechanism of the block to polyspermy contributed by the egg cortical granule lectins and complete or global identification of the proteins/glycoproteins in egg cortical granules (proteomics of fish egg cortical granules).