Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
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YASUKAWA TAKEHIRO Last modified date:2017.09.15

Assistant Professor / Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Department of Basic Medicine
Faculty of Medical Sciences

Academic Degree
Doctor of Engineering [conferred by The University of Tokyo]
Field of Specialization
Molecular Biolodgy, Mitochondria, Mitochondrial DNA
Outline Activities
In my five years graduate studies at the University of Tokyo, Japan, I made a contribution to advance our understanding on the molecular pathogenesis of human mitochondrial disease with mutations in mitochondrial transfer RNA genes encoded on mitochondrial DNA. After conferment of a doctoral degree in 2002, I conducted my postdoctoral research at Medical Research Council in Cambridge, UK for five and a half years and contributed to the cutting-edge research on the mechanism of mammalian mitochondrial DNA replication (2002-2007). Then, I continued my research on mitochondrial DNA as a principal investigator at University College London, UK with a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship for 5 years (2007-2012). In Nov. 2012, I took up an assistant professor position at Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory and started a couple of exciting projects on the replication and maintenance of mammalian mitochondrial DNA.
Research Interests
  • Mitochondrial genome, Mitochondria, DNA replication, DNA maintenance
    keyword : mitochondria, mitochondrial DNA, DNA replication
Academic Activities
1. Yasukawa, T., Poulton, J., Mitochondrial DNA Replication, Royal Society of Chemistry (London), Chapter 11 in Molecular Themes in DNA Replication (pp.316-345), 2009.10.
2. Yasukawa, T., Suzuki, T., Ohta, S., Watanabe, K., Wobble modification defect suppresses translational activity of tRNAs with MERRF and MELAS mutations, Mitochondrion, 2, 129-141, 2002.02.
1. Akman, G., Desai, R., Bailey, L.J., Yasukawa, T., Dalla Rosa, I., Durigon, R., Holmes, J.B., Moss, C.F., Mennuni, M., Houlden, H., Crouch, R.J., Hanna, M.G., Pitceathly, R.D., Spinazzola, A., Holt I.J., Pathological ribonuclease H1 causes R-loop depletion and aberrant DNA segregation in mitochondria, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 113, 30, 2016.07.
2. Qu, J., Yasukawa, T.*, Kang, D., Suppression of mitochondrial transcription initiation complexes changes the balance of replication intermediates of mitochondrial DNA and reduces 7S DNA in cultured human cells, J. Biochem., [*corresponding author], 2016.02.
3. Reyes, A., Kazak, L., Wood, S.R., Yasukawa, T., Jacobs, H.T., Holt I.J., Mitochondrial DNA replication proceeds via a ‘bootlace’ mechanism involving the incorporation of processed transcripts, Nucleic Acids Res., 41(11):5837-5850, 2013.06.
4. Ruhanen, H., Ushakov, K., Yasukawa, T.* [*corresponding author], Involvement of DNA ligase III and ribonuclease H1 in mitochondrial DNA replication in cultured human cells, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1813, 2000-2007, 2011.12.
5. Ruhanen, H., Borrie, S., Szabadkai, G., Tyynismaa, H., Jones, A. W. E., Kang, D., Taanman, J.-W., Yasukawa, T.* [*corresponding author], Mitochondrial single-stranded DNA binding protein is required for maintenance of mitochondrial DNA and 7S DNA but is not required for mitochondrial nucleoid organization, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1803, 931-939, 2010.08.
6. Yasukawa, T., Reyes, A., Cluett, T. J., Yang, M. Y., Bowmaker, M., Jacobs, H. T., Holt, I. J., Replication of vertebrate mitochondrial DNA entails transient ribonucleotide incorporation throughout the lagging strand, EMBO J., 25, 5358-5371, 2006.10.
7. Yasukawa, T., Yang, M. Y., Jacobs, H. T., Holt, I. J., A bidirectional origin of replication maps to the major noncoding region of human mitochondrial DNA, Mol. Cell, 18, 651-662, 2005.06.
8. Yasukawa, T., Suzuki, T., Ishii, N., Ohta, S., Watanabe, K., Wobble modification defect in tRNA disturbs codon-anticodon interaction in a mitochondrial disease, EMBO J., 20, 4794-4802, 2001.09.
Membership in Academic Society
  • The Molecular Biology Society of Japan
  • The Japanese Society of Mitochondrial Research and medicine
Professional and Outreach Activities
I held a JSPS Bilateral Joint Research Seminar as a leading scientist at Helsinki (Finland) with Japanese and Finnish researchers in Oct 2015. .