Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
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YASUKAWA TAKEHIRO Last modified date:2017.11.06

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. Moss, C.F., Dalla Rosa, I., Hunt, L.E., Yasukawa, T., Young, R., Jones, A.W.E., Reddy, K., Desai, R., Virtue, S., Elgar, G., Voshol, P., Taylor, M.S., Holt I.J., Reijns, M.A.M., Spinazzola, A., Aberrant ribonucleotide incorporation and multiple deletions in mitochondrial DNA of the murine MPV17 disease model, Nucleic Acids Res., Advanced article, 2017.11.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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. .